Alabama colleges and universities begin setting dates to reopen
After an abrupt end to the spring semester, Alabama’s colleges and universities started announcing their plans for reopening in the coming months.
Here is a rundown of where things stand for several of the state’s colleges and universities.
University of Alabama System
Chancellor Finis St. John outlined his system’s intent to return to campuses this fall in a statement last week. St. John said, “We fully intend to be ready for on-campus instruction this fall and will be guided by the experts at our UAB Health System, the University of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Alabama in Huntsville to ensure that our campuses are the safest in the country.”
Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins announced his university would reopen June 1 and offer in-person fall classes beginning in August. Hawkins said, “The Trojan Spirit remains undaunted, and it is in this same spirit Troy University now moves ahead to perform its mission of educating the mind to think, the heart to feel, and the body to act.” Orientation at Troy will involve both in-person and online options. Spring and summer graduates will get to participate in a commencement ceremony on July 24.
University of South Alabama
USA president Tony Waldrop stated last week that the university is actively making plans for the return of students to campus for the fall semester. He said, “The most important step in reopening is to ensure that we can conduct classes and activities in a safe manner. There is always the possibility that the evolving health risks or other circumstances associated with COVID-19 may require that we change our plans, but we are laying the groundwork for reopening.”
The 166 year-old liberal arts school located in Montgomery will start its fall semester on August 10, which will allow the institution to wrap the semester up by Thanksgiving. President J. Cameron West said, “The administration of the College is meeting daily to prepare to bring our community back to campus for the Fall semester. Our small size gives us an advantage over larger institutions as we create a learning and residential environment amid public health concerns. Over the coming weeks and months, we will develop and implement new health and wellness initiatives. We know that we will have a new normal in the Fall, but we believe that our faculty, staff and students can work together to promote the health and well-being of all of our constituents.”
Freshman orientation will run August 6 through 9. Anthony Leigh, senior vice president of Huntingdon, offered, “We can’t wait to have our students back on campus. For months, offices across campus have been developing a revised orientation program to better assist students’ transition from high school to college. We are excited for the class of 2024 to come to campus to start their Huntingdon journey.”
Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia