After a hiatus of several months, the campus of Williams Baptist University is about to spring back to life. WBU will welcome freshmen and other new students to campus Saturday, and classes will commence on Tuesday, August 18.
â€œWe are thrilled to see students on this campus once again, and the students appear to be as happy as we are with the prospect of returning,â€ said Dr. Stan Norman, WBUâ€™s president. â€œWe go into this semester knowing it will be far from normal, but that doesnâ€™t diminish our excitement. We are ready to get back to the business of transforming lives through Christ-centered higher education.â€
WBU, like nearly all schools, ended in-person instruction in late March due to the covid-19 pandemic and completed the spring semester online. The university announced this summer that it would return to in-person instruction this fall, but with a host of safety protocols in place.
â€œOur return to on-campus, in-person instruction requires we follow the biblical mandate to love our neighbor. Loving our neighbor in this time of pandemic means following recommended protocols and implementing safeguards to ensure we advance our mission in as safe an environment as possible. The safety and well-being of our students and employees will guide our decisions and policies as we move forward in this pandemic,â€ Norman said.
Social distancing and masks will be required on move-in day, with students and their parents arriving at scheduled times to prevent overcrowding in the residence halls. The university will require masks in public spaces throughout the semester.
WBU students, faculty and staff will also receive â€œCOVID kitsâ€ at the start of the semester, containing masks, thermometers, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes.
â€œEven with the protocols in place, we have plans for an active campus life to provide our students with the full university experience,â€ Norman said. â€œWe will host a number of events outside, and we will also make plans for appropriate social distancing. Our faculty and staff are working diligently and creatively to ensure that we advance our mission of Christian higher education by providing academic excellence and a robust college experience in as safe a way as possible.â€
WBU has additional information on its COVID-19 safety measures at https://williamsbu.edu/coronavirus/.
The universityâ€™s administration also did a live question-and-answer session last week, which can be viewed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WilliamsBaptistUniversity/videos/750082492472024 .
Williams is a private, Christian university in Walnut Ridge.