March 18 message from Elon President Connie Ledoux Book – COVID-19 Update

Along with important updates to the academic schedule and campus operations, President Book offers her support for those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak and her appreciation for the efforts of students, faculty and staff.

President Connie Ledoux Book offered a video message and update to the Elon University community on March 18, 2020, about the university’s continued response to the COVID-19 outbreak and changes to the academic schedule and operations.

Key facts to know:

  • Online classes are extended until at least April 20.
  • Students who do not need to return to campus should stay home until classes resume.
  • Students who are currently on campus should go home if at all possible. We will support students who must remain on campus with basic services and social distancing protocols.



Dear members of the Elon family,

Today, in the middle of this dynamic public health event, I want to begin with a thank you. Our community has responded to this pandemic in a uniquely Elon way. We are focused on facts and following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And with that foundation, the people of Elon are demonstrating leadership here in North Carolina and around the globe.

Students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni are supporting each other and working hard to protect their families and their communities. I have been so impressed by faculty who are preparing for a very different mode of instruction, and by global education staff who are arranging to return students from countries around the world. Our health services, physical plant and dining services staff members are doing amazing work to keep us healthy. We are inspired by our technology, academic support and communications professionals who are working around the clock.

Elon is a community mobilized and I am so thankful to everyone. Every day I see people patiently adapting to this dynamic and complex situation asking, “how can I help?” In those actions are great comfort that our collective strength in working together for the common good is the key way we will prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Patience and flexibility are our guideposts. Hundreds of faculty and staff members are now working from home. We’ve adopted work policies to fit the needs of individuals and their families, and we’re committed that no one will be penalized or miss a paycheck.

The Elon community is strong, but we also are also facing a challenge that we haven’t encountered before. We’re doing our best to make decisions day-by-day and everyone wants answers about how long this disruption is going to last and when life can get back to something that resembles normal.

My heart breaks for our seniors, whose last semester is not what they envisioned. For faculty and staff, whose goals for the semester have had to shift. For student athletes and performers and researchers each missing opportunities—each of us putting plans and, in many cases, dreams on hold while we wait.

While we want to reassemble the community on campus on April 6 as we had planned, public health advisories are now clear that is too soon.

With some places ordering citizens to shelter in place and public transportation suspended, there is little certainty about when we could resume classes on campus.

So for today, we are setting a new target of April 20 for a potential date for a return to residential life here on campus. Obviously that could change, depending on how the virus spreads and how our nation adapts. But since Elon’s spring semester runs a little later than most colleges, there is still a possibility we could finish the semester here on campus.

In the meantime, I am asking everyone to do what we can control – to put our energies into making remote teaching and learning the very best we can make it.

Now this is very important:

Students who are not currently here, I urgently ask that you remain home during this period of online instruction. Traveling back to campus would increase the risk of you being infected, and in turn the risks for others being infected.

If staying home is truly not an option, we want to provide you support here on campus.

Our iconic mascot, the Phoenix, reminds us that sometimes the ability to spread our wings and fly can be challenged. In those times, staying focused on what we each can do, helping others as much as we can help while we take care of ourselves – that collective strength, that’s how we will navigate this flight, knowing that one day, very soon, we’ll be able to soar again.

In hopes for a bright future,

Connie Ledoux Book