Dear Rome Students and Families,
Saluti cordiali! I hope this message finds you well and healthy following your return to the United States. As you have heard through news reports, or possibly from your professors, the situation in Italy has, unfortunately, worsened. Yesterday I was in contact with Signora Romanini who described the crisis in Italy at this time.
When operations were suspended at the Rome Campus three weeks ago, I was hopeful that a similar decision would not be necessary for the Worcester Campus. The ever-changing nature of this global health crisis has affected all areas of life across the world, and has necessitated several changes this semester to the way in which Assumption students learn.
Despite the safe return of Assumption faculty and students who studied in Rome this semester, we have continued to closely monitor the deteriorating situation in Italy. When students left Rome on Friday, March 6, there were 4,636 reported cases of coronavirus in Italy. Today, that number has swelled to 59,138 with additional cases numbering in the thousands each day. While more than 7,000 have recovered, sadly, nearly 5,500 individuals have succumbed to the virus. Three days after your departure, the Italian government imposed a mandatory nationwide quarantine. I am thankful that Professors Lazar and WoodBrooks were able to depart Italy amid that quarantine.
Suspending operations at the Rome Campus was a difficult decision as we knew the impact it would have on you having just settled into life in Rome. While these decisions were difficult, we are confident they were the right ones, and necessary to ensure your safety and that of our faculty.
I thank you once again for your understanding and hope the transition to online courses with your Rome professors has gone well. Given the dire situation in Italy, please pray for your professors who remain in Rome as well as Signora Romanini, her family, and the Augustinians of the Assumption.
We are hopeful for much in this time of uncertainly. Primarily, the continued health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. We are also hopeful, and pray fervently, that the terrible situation in Italy and emerging situation in the United States will subside. I am still optimistic that additional Assumption students will have the transformative opportunity to study in the Eternal City this summer and in the fall.
Know that we have been thinking of you since your return. If there is anything you need, please do not hesitate to contact my office.
Ci Vediamo Presto!