Bethany announces extension of online classes, cancels commencement

Dear Bethany Community,

Bethany Lutheran College announced today the decision to extend the suspension of in-person classes, and continue teaching students through online delivery for the remainder of the 2019-20 Academic Year.

On March 17, 2020, Bethany announced it would resume the second semester by beginning online instruction March 23, and continuing at least through the Easter break. On March 25, the State of Minnesota extended a number of restrictive orders already in place through the beginning of May, and also issued a statewide stay at home directive through April 10. With several measures remaining in place through the end of our academic semester, and with uncertainty as to when the COVID-19 pandemic will subside and normal operations may resume, the Bethany administration made the decision today to continue online instruction for the remainder of the semester.

Since the beginning of this crisis, Bethany Lutheran College has put the safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community first by proactively following all guidelines set forth by our national and state authorities. Today, we pray this decision to suspend face-to-face classes for the remainder of the semester will help to slow the spread of the virus and provide our nation’s hospitals and medical professionals with the time needed to handle the situation as effectively as possible.

Since our earliest days, Bethany has placed personal mentoring and meaningful connections with our students, based on Christ’s love for us, at the forefront of our mission. Bethany cares deeply about our students and the lessons that are learned on this campus. We fully understand the impact this has on all of them. The entire Bethany community is profoundly heartbroken to take this action. We continue to pray for God’s protecting and healing hand in the midst of this global crisis, and are committed to bringing the highest quality educational experience possible to our students through online learning.

SPRING COMMENCEMENT: Bethany’s Spring Commencement Ceremony scheduled for May 8 is also canceled. May 2020 graduates will be welcomed back to campus to participate in the December 2020 Commencement Ceremony, which will take place on Saturday, December 12, 2020, at 10 a.m. May 2020 graduates will also receive their diplomas by mail after the completion of the Spring Semester.

STUDENT BELONGINGS: The College acknowledges that this change poses challenges for students needing to move their personal belongings from their dorm rooms. Any students needing access to their rooms to remove any or all belongings, must return to campus between Thursday, March 26 at 8:00 a.m. and Friday, March 27 at 9:00 p.m. Students will also have the opportunity to return to campus and move items at a time yet to be determined after the stay at home order is lifted by the State of Minnesota. Students, please check your Bethany email for a notice from the Vice President of Student Affairs, Dr. Ted Manthe, regarding specific information related to moving out of the dorms.

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God bless,

Gene R. Pfeifer, Ph.D.
Bethany Lutheran College President