The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of our normal yearly rhythms, and that includes graduation season. This year, millions of seniors will finish their high school and college experiences without a graduation ceremony. While some might joke that they’re happy to not sit through another commencement, this is no doubt a difficult and disappointing situation. Here are a few ways to celebrate the accomplishment of graduating in the midst of everything going on:
On May 8, Americans across the country ran 2.23 miles to honor Ahmaud Arbery, the 25 year old African-American man who was gunned down on February 23. Many members of the NU community took part in this run, but the leadership team wanted to make sure that the University’s collective sorrow surrounding Ahmaud’s death was abundantly clear.
If you fall within the age of 18-25, you are in the exciting years of a group called emerging adults. You probably have already realized that this period can be both challenging and rewarding
This is truly an unprecedented time to be involved in community development and nonprofit work. As the founder and chair of Northwest University’s MA in International Community Development program,I daily hear stories from the field representing many kinds of needs and opportunities. One thing is clear about such crises: those who are most marginalized are also most vulnerable.
I am happy to communicate today to our continuing students, entering first-year and transfer students, parents, alumni, and employees that Northwest University is meticulously planning to resume residential teaching and residence life on schedule this fall. Residential students, we look forward to welcoming you back to campus! We are also pleased to announce that all non-traditional and graduate programs will return to regular operation over the summer and into the fall.
As we look forward to celebrating the resurrection on Sunday, our gospel choir, the Northwest Choralons, is choosing to worship amidst our circumstances. Here is "Living Hope," made up of individual videos sent from each student's living room.
It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, worry, and grief during an outbreak. We are going to experience a wide range of responses over the length of the COVID-19 crisis. We are also going to react differently from each other, requiring us to be gracious with ourselves and others. Though we have little control over what is happening in our world right now, we do have a significant way to manage our response.
The first few weeks of college are a period of huge transition; trust me on this. As a transfer student, I’ve been “new to campus” twice. Reflecting back on my first college experience and now on my experience as a transfer student at NU, I can tell you with complete confidence that the community of this University is something special.
"We, the people of Northwest University, carry the call of God by continually building a learning community…."
This is our mission statement. NU is a group of people who are involved and passionate about each other's lives. Our students function in community; our faculty function in community, and our staff function in community. Suddenly, within a week, we were told to stop operating in community. Now, classrooms echo with the sound of empty chairs as faculty teach online. Residence halls are vacant; the rooms once filled with laughter and memories now collecting dust without students bustling in the hallways. Desks normally occupied by welcoming staff are eerily organized and quiet as people transition to workstations at home. It is unbelievably difficult for us, the people of Northwest University, to be so disconnected from the community we love.