COVID-19 update for alumni from Chancellor Sheri Everts

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Each evening, my grandson and I have been feeding the campus ducks on behalf of our absent students and it causes me to reflect on how members of the Appalachian Community everywhere are coping as they make minor and major adjustments in their daily lives. As you continue to adjust, please visit our coronavirus website for the latest university-related updates. My weekly messages to campus, including a video newsletter released last week, are also good sources of current information. Fortunately, there are stories of creative, resourceful and positive activity taking place in the midst of this pandemic that inspire and uplift us.

Our alumni, friends, faculty and staff have rallied and responded with ingenuity to social distancing and to the switch to online teaching and learning. We are documenting examples of the Appalachian Community’s resilience and innovation on the Appalachian Today news and events website.

The Appalachian Alumni Association reports many instances of outreach, such as alumni making protective equipment, including gowns and masks, for medical providers, and delivering meals to children and families in need. Alumna Catharyn Nosek, a U.S. Navy lieutenant, is serving as a critical care nurse on the USNS Comfort hospital ship moored in New York City. Her story is both heartbreaking and courageous — a true Mountaineer.

Our students are also making the most of the situation. Appalachian’s production of “Spring Awakening” was cancelled due to COVID-19 and the students instead filmed a video of themselves singing “The Song of Purple Summer,” which garnered coverage in Broadway World.

In the face of COVID-19, Appalachian has seen an increase in financial need for our students affected by displacement and loss of employment. Since its inception three weeks ago, our Mountaineer Emergency Fund has provided more than 530 short-term grants to students who are facing financial challenges that present significant barriers to their academic success. Many of you have stepped up to assist these students who are in dire need. Thank you so much.

I sincerely appreciate and applaud the efforts and resilience of everyone in the Appalachian Community. We are united as Mountaineers, near and far. Please, stay safe.

/s/ Sheri Everts

Sheri Everts, Chancellor