Augustana announces going virtual through spring graduation

Hot out of my mailbox (since I’m a parent of an Augie Student), it sounds like Augustana university is joining state supported Universities going virtual for the remainder of the spring semester, and will be holding a virtual commencement according to Augustana University President Stephanie Herseth Sandlin:

Although there is still so much we don’t know, we do know that with each passing day there are more people testing positive for the disease in South Dakota and neighboring states, and we likewise know that many of our students are from other parts of the country and the world where the spread of COVID-19 is even more severe. Predictive models, cited by Governor Kristi Noem earlier this week, indicate that the potential peak of the virus in South Dakota will be in late May or early June.

In such an uncertain environment, yet with such stark predictions and trends reflected in the public health analysis to date, we have made the difficult decision for Augustana faculty to continue delivering curriculum online to students for the remainder of the spring semester. Together with dedicated colleagues across campus — most of whom will be working remotely — we also will continue to provide other services to students through virtual meetings using online platforms (e.g., academic advising, tutoring, counseling, campus ministry, etc.). It is our intention to host a creative, virtual commencement ceremony in May to celebrate our graduates, followed this fall by special activities and recognition during Viking Days.

This is a lot of new territory for everyone.

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