category: Advisory

Finish the Fall Semester Strong

Dear Gardner-Webb students,  

I am contacting you directly today to stress the importance of finishing our semester in a way that minimizes the threat from COVID-19.
Compared to other colleges and universities across the state and across the country, Gardner-Webb University has fared remarkably well since move-in day back in August. For most of the semester, we have had low numbers—few positive cases and a manageable number of quarantines. However, as we get closer to the Thanksgiving break those numbers are rising.

  • It will take your active vigilance to complete the semester in a way that maximizes your academic success.
  • It will take your active vigilance to keep yourselves healthy and thereby avoid taking a virus home to your family and friends for the holidays.
  • It will take your active vigilance to ensure that nothing gets in the way of us starting the spring 2021 semester on time and on campus.

86% of all COVID-19 cases at Gardner-Webb since reporting began in February 2020 have been students, not faculty or staff. To stop the spread, we have to rely on you.
Everyone must wear face coverings in our buildings.We have to wash our hands…a lot.Maintain a safe social distance…seriously, it’s not that hard.
There should be no large group gatherings. Skip the parties and spare yourself 14 days in quarantine. Even small groups must exercise extreme caution to keep from spreading the virus.

We will continue to insist upon compliance, and we will do whatever it takes to protect our campus community, up to and including fines ($300) and penalties (one-year probation) for anyone who does not follow the guidelines.

I know that the past 10 months have taken a toll. We’re tired and weary of dealing with the pandemic. I know I am. I miss campus life and our vibrant community. I miss the excitement and thrill of a crisp fall afternoon in Spangler Stadium.

And though I know it’s all coming back, especially with recent encouraging news about vaccines, it is not here yet. And until it is, we have to be bold and aggressive in fighting for our community.  


Finish smart and finish strong,
Dr. William M. DownsPresident

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