By Ariel C. Emberton, Staff Writer/Photographer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – The administration at Campbellsville University has announced the university will be fully open for students during the fall 2021 semester due to vaccination increases and the drop in overall COVID-19 cases across the Commonwealth of Kentucky and at the university.
The fall semester is set to begin Monday, Aug. 23, and Dr. H. Keith Spears, interim president, has deemed the university will be “open for business.”
“A true college experience encompasses a learning environment for the entire person,” he said. “Academic programs are complimented by a multitude of extracurricular activities. The entire university community wants a full college experience for our students. COVID kidnapped last year. We are ready to get it back.”
The fall 2020 and spring 2021 included strict limitations. When students return to campus for the fall 2021 semester, events such as chapel, sporting events and activities with Residence Life will return as well. “This doesn’t mean we will throw caution to the wind, but there will be a greater feeling of the true college experience students expect and deserve,” Spears said.
According to Dr. Donna Hedgepath, provost and vice president for academic affairs, students can see in-person events reappear, a move back to more in-person learning and more opportunities to gather and enjoy the adventure that is college life.
“Students and faculty are ready to get back to standard operations. We are excited about moving classes back to in person, while continuing to enhance the classroom experience using new technologies with which we have become familiar over the past year,” Hedgepath said.
As the university prepares for the fall semester, Hedgepath said, “We believe the campus learning and community environments will be as ‘normal’ as possible. Normal meaning as close to the pre-COVID reality as we are capable of operating.”
Dr. Shane Garrison, vice president for enrollment services and professor of theology, said, “Campbellsville University is eagerly anticipating welcoming nearly 700 new freshman students across all locations of the CU system. This includes 500 freshmen to the main campus, 100 freshmen to the Conover Education Center in Harrodsburg and another 100 freshmen spread across Somerset, Liberty, Louisville and fully online.”
The previous freshman class record was set in fall 2020 with 677 new freshmen. “From the enrollment trends, it appears we can break the previous record in 2021,” Garrison said.
Rusty Hollingsworth, vice president for student services and athletics said, “The last two semesters have been difficult for so many in so many ways. I commend our student body for really working hard to remain in compliance with all the protocols and policies we put in place as an institution.”
In the fall semester, the university met its goal of being in person until Thanksgiving, and it is expected to make it until May 1 for the 2021 spring semester.
“Our intention as a campus community for the fall 2021 semester is to move toward normalcy for our students, faculty, staff and coaches. We are looking forward to consistent face- to-face classes, athletic events with fans in the stands and a full slate of student activities,” Hollingsworth said.
The university will continue to stagger the check-in process for resident students. New student orientations are being planned for all incoming freshmen and transfer students joining the CU family at the main campus and regional centers in the fall.
“Our prayer is COVID-19 will be well under control and all our planning and preparation can come to fruition,” Hedgepath said.
Spears said, “Students, faculty and staff have all sacrificed over the past year. It has been a struggle. We have adjusted and re-adjusted to meet the needs of students. The Campbellsville spirit of perseverance and tenacity has come through. A new day is coming. Get ready, fall 2021, here we come!”
For more information on enrollment at Campbellsville University, call (270) 789-5220.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 13,500 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.