Dear Alumni and Friends,
Joshua 1:9 is a clear word for today: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
The hope found in this passage of scripture has been a consistent reminder of the Lord''s faithfulness for our NGU Family these last few months.
Like many of you, we are also navigating through the new realities associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. I am so proud of the extraordinary efforts of NGU faculty and staff who joined in creating innovative ways to help our students through their academic and personal challenges. When the coronavirus disrupted our country in March, NGU quickly transitioned to online classes for the balance of the semester.
The COVID pandemic changed our traditional graduation. Usually, our spring graduation allows us to gather in Younts Stadium to award degrees to students and celebrate with families. After canceling our May 2020 Commencement, under the leadership of our NGUcentral team, the campus community all worked together to award 77 of our 278 spring degrees at our drive-thru May graduation. Additionally, these graduates have the option to participate in one of two special Commencement ceremonies: during Homecoming in October, or at the December 2020 graduation.
Despite the various challenges the close of the semester presented, many wonderful things happened to help us finish the semester very strongly.
Here are a few of the amazing highlights that helped us to complete the spring 2020 semester:
- NGU Information Technology (IT) staff worked diligently so that instructors and students had the technology they needed. All in-person classes transformed into remote teaching formats.
- NGUcares launched as a mentoring tool for faculty and staff to help students remain connected to NGU socially and emotionally as they worked to complete the school year.
- The NGU COVID-19 Task Force was created well before we shifted to online instruction. This group of more than two dozen personnel have worked tirelessly to ensure the utmost safety measures are in place to keep the campus community safe.
The power of philanthropy made it possible to provide NGU students with emergency assistance to meet basic needs quickly.
This summer, all NGU classes are online, and the FUGE camps which have filled the Tigerville campus for decades were all canceled by the organizers. This disruption has enabled the university to address several renovation and improvement projects. Gifts from alumni to support these projects are put to use immediately. If you would like to learn more about these projects, please contact our office. The safety and health of our students, faculty, and staff continue to be our main priority. As we return to our new normal, I encourage you to consider the many ways you can contribute to student success. Unrestricted gifts of any size will help ensure that we maintain strong university operations.
On May 21, in an official update, NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr., announced that NGU will open the fall semester in August with in-person instruction. We are excited to welcome students to campus.
Work is underway to improve the student-life experience significantly. Some improvements that you will notice are:
- Dorm Renovations
- A newly designed Wellness Center
- Neves Academic Hall redesigned as the home for NGUcentral
As a campus community, we are coming together collectively to complete several final projects. These will be completed during "The Great Days of Service" over four days. Please plan to help us with simple work projects like painting and cleaning. We have specific projects that will accommodate ANY skill level. We have structured the event to begin each day at 8:45 a.m. and conclude by 4:00 p.m. You can commit to as many partial or full days that your time allows. It would be wonderful to see everyone participate at least once.
You are welcome to invite businesses, churches, small groups, Sunday School classes, etc. to join in on these days. If you have a group that would be interested, please let me know, and we will have them register as a group instead of individually.
The Great Days of Service dates are:
- July 8
- July 9
- August 6
- August 7
Lastly, Homecoming weekend is just three months away: October 16 and 17, 2020. The Alumni Association is planning an exciting weekend for all alumni. Please remember that our 2020 Alumni Awards nominations are open. If you know of a deserving Distinguished Alumnus or Young Alumnus of the Year candidate, please submit your nomination at https://www.ngu.edu/alumni-nomination-form.
In closing, we hope that you are well and staying healthy. Know that NGU is praying for our entire NGU Family.
Lamont Sullivan, ''98, ''99, M.A. ''13
Director of Alumni Engagement
North Greenville University