Dear Mount Union Students,

As we come to the end of your spring classes and you prepare for final assignments and examinations, I’m writing to do three things:
  • Encourage you to finish strong
  • Offer a thought about your summer plans
  • Give you an update on the ways Mount Union is preparing for next fall

The transition to remote learning and being away from our campus has been difficult for everyone. I’m proud of the way we’ve all tried to respond to this challenge and keep moving ahead. Please continue to support and encourage each other. Stay in touch with the faculty members who are teaching your courses and be sure you know where you stand and how you can do your best on final assignments. Please reach out, if you need support, to the Center for Student Success, Office of Counseling Services, or your student affairs mentor. All can be reached by email or phone using contact information on the directory page of Mount’s website.

The COVID-19 outbreak has scrambled the summer plans of many of our students. Internships and summer jobs that were all set are now in doubt. You can help keep your academic plan on track by taking summer courses . As communicated in a recent email , the University of Mount Union is offering many courses this summer that you can complete remotely. Mount is also part of a group of cooperating colleges and universities who share online course offerings. That means you can take a needed course from one of these other schools and know, with certainty, that the course will transfer to Mount Union and whether it can be used to meet a major requirement or simply serve as an elective. To learn more, check in with your academic advisor or contact the Office of the University Registrar (again, contact info is on the directory page of our website).

Our goal, and the objective of our planning, is to resume face-to-face instruction and the operation of our campus in residential mode this coming fall. We know that doing so will require some important modifications in how we live and work together, particularly in terms of creating safe distancing in classrooms, campus housing, and in dining and group meeting venues. We are planning for those changes now, and we are working with other colleges and universities and state officials in Ohio to develop standards that will allow us to safely reopen and operate as a residential campus. Our goal is to resume athletic practice and competition this fall. Members of the administration are engaged in discussions with colleagues in the Ohio Athletic Conference and the NCAA about how we may resume athletic activities.

We know we cannot override or defy decisions about public health that are made by the federal government or Ohio’s government. Some things are out of our control. But we can prepare, so we will have a plan for every foreseeable situation.

For those of you who are graduating at the end of the spring semester, congratulations! You have overcome some big challenges to reach your goals, especially this spring. You are graduating into a world that is filled with uncertainty, but I know, because you have told me, that many of you have jobs waiting or are moving ahead to graduate study. Have confidence in yourself – we do! and believe in the value of the degree you have earned at Mount Union. Let us know how we can help you.

Take care. Stay well.

Best regards,

Dick Merriman
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