Dear ONU Alumni and Friends,
In the past two weeks, our country, our communities and our University have experienced drastic changes in how we all live, work and learn due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is spreading throughout our nation.
I write today with two purposes in mind: first, to convey gratitude to our alumni and friends, and second, to reveal – with both pride and humility – how Ohio Northern is responding to this public health crisis.
On behalf of the entire University community, let me express profound thanks for all your support and compassion. The Polar Bear family always shows great strength, resilience and solidarity in the face of adversity; we are deeply appreciative of the support we have witnessed from alumni and friends across the globe. You have lifted our spirits in this difficult time.
As many of you may know, the University has swiftly and significantly altered its learning landscape in order to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, to continue advancing education by shifting to alternative and remote learning, and to be a resource to our region and a good citizen in our state by fully complying with the directives of Gov. Mike DeWine, JD ’72, as he provides exceptional leadership to Ohio.
Effective last Monday, March 16, 2020, all instruction is being delivered remotely, all residential students, except for a few exceptions, have returned home, and all campus buildings are closed to the public, except for the ONU retail pharmacy. I have been impressed, but not surprised, by how the members of the campus community have responded so well, especially the ONU faculty for their amazingly fast conversion of their courses to online formats. Although we know this situation is far from over, I want to reassure you that first and foremost, the University is committed to taking care of its students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with your questions and concerns via email. The University’s coronavirus website, which is frequently updated, also can provide the most up-to-date information regarding ONU’s response to COVID-19. The cancelation or postponement of upcoming alumni events can be found here.
On April 8, Ohio Northern will be going forward as planned with Founders Day, ONU’s annual virtual celebration with our alumni near and far. This year, we will be celebrating the legacy of Helen Ludwig, BSEd '44, the architect of women’s sports at ONU. Founders Day provides another opportunity to show your support for Ohio Northern, and we hope that you will consider participating and engaging with your friends online. For those who are able to at this time, we will unveil a way you can financially help current students whose semester and experience have been upended by COVID-19 outbreak.
On that note, please keep our current students, faculty and staff in your thoughts and prayers as we work through the rest of the semester in far different ways than anticipated. We know it will be a difficult adjustment for all, but we also know that we will all get through this together. I am so grateful to be part of this resilient Polar Bear family, and I know you feel the same way.
Stay well, be safe and take good care,