COVID-19 Update: 6/3/20

The latest from the COVID-19 Task Force

CARES Act Emergency Funds

We have begun mailing checks for emergency aid grants to students this week, funded by the Federal CARES Act. Most students enrolled full-time in the spring will receive a grant check. Additional funds are available for students by application. There is still time to apply for additional grant aid. Please complete this form if you have any questions about these grants.

2020 Commencement Ceremony

The Oglethorpe Commencement Committee, including numerous members of the COVID-19 Task Force, met last week to examine the possibilities for a traditional in-person ceremony sometime during the next academic year. The committee concurred that it is highly unlikely that conditions would allow for an October gathering of 2,000+ people. The committee recommended, and the President’s Cabinet endorsed, a plan to work towards a May 2021 in-person event. This announcement is available on the commencement website.

Health and Safety

Select members of the COVID-19 Task Force have engaged pandemic response consultants and technologists in conversations about prevention, contact tracing and testing. A significant investment in state-of-the-art technology is being evaluated to assist us in providing an agile and multi-layer defense against the spread of the virus in our community.


The NCAA Division III announced this week that they will reduce the minimum number of contests required for sports sponsorship and championship selection by 33% for the 2020-21 academic year. The move is intended to “provide flexibility to our member schools as they work to reopen during what is a very uncertain and complex time.”

Division III has established a coronavirus website for updates and guidance on the return of fall sports.

The Southern Athletic Association (SAA) President’s Council will meet at the end of this week to discuss preliminary opening plans for our conference.


The COVID-19 Task Force Academic Subcommittee hosted a live online forum for all faculty this week to present preliminary recommendations and answer questions about preparations for a fall reopening. A number of new ideas were raised and will be discussed at the next subcommittee meeting on June 10. For faculty who missed the forum or wish to contribute additional ideas, please contact a faculty representative on the subcommittee: Leah Zinner, Lynn Guhde, Charlie Baube, Brian Patterson and Bob Steen.