Daily COVID-19 Update: March 16, 2020

Dear Bereans,

Here are some updates from the AC for Monday, March 16.

The AC asks all those who are participating in non-essential gatherings on campus of any size to discontinue effective immediately.  Organizers of such activities are encouraged to explore virtual, non-in-person options.

Important announcement from Sodexo

Sodexo is making a change nationally to carry-out service only for everyone served in their dining facilities.  (This is to enhance social distancing by reducing the number of people dining together.)  Students and others eating through Dining will now go to pick up their choice of food placed into a portable and discardable container and will take that food elsewhere to eat.  This change is effective at dinner this evening.

An item from the Center for International Education

Most of our students who were studying abroad have already been recalled to the US.  Today the decision was made to repatriate the few remaining students who were studying in countries where there had so far been less concern.

A request from the Campus Post Office

Miss Bev is asking that folks try to avoid ordering large packages for delivery to the CPO at this time due to reduced staffing there.

It’s not the first epidemic the College has dealt with!  The following was passed along by retiree Melissa Osborne:

This is an excerpt from an email from a fellow BC retiree, sharing her support for what we are doing and a historical perspective from another time:

I was so very proud of how the college handled this.  Can you imagine trying to cope if we had even one kid get the virus?  In 1957 when we got back from Christmas and the beginning of final exams there was a flu epidemic on campus.  The ‘dorm directors’ had to care for their students until the fever was over 100 and then drive them to the hospital.  The hospital was running over and beds lined the hallways.  After the fever was back down to 100 for 24 hours we were transported to the gyms where they had cots set up so close together the nurses could hardly get in between.  We stayed there until we were normal for 24 hours.  It was not a very happy time, but at least we had the hospital and less students.  I can’t imagine what it would be like now.

An announcement of possible interest from the Enterprise Rental Car company

Enterprise Rent-A-Car® is offering College Student Travel Assistance in response to the closing of colleges and universities due to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns.

We are reducing the minimum age and waiving young renter fees for rentals through May 31, 2020, to help students get home safely and ease the burden on families during this time.


  • Available to college students 18–24 years of age
  • Official student ID must be presented at the time of rental
  • Valid on Economy through Fullsize cars, Minivans, Small Pickup Trucks and Cargo Vans
  • Valid at U.S. locations only for rentals reserved in advance
  • Standard driver and credit requirements apply (excluding minimum age)
  • Expires May 31, 2020

A message of encouragement from the Dean of the Chapel

Dear Berea Family,

As I walk through Draper and around campus this morning, I think of each member of the Berea family—wherever you are.  Know that you are held in thought and in prayer.

May you find peace in the midst of uncertainty,
hope in times of despair,
light in the darkness,
connection in the time of physical distance,
strength in the time of anxiety and fear,
love and kindness when we need it the most.

If you have a concern or simply want to talk, I am available via email, text, Messenger, or phone.  In our new and constantly-changing reality, I offer some ideas for caring for yourself and for others.

In Peace and Hope,

Rev. Loretta Reynolds, D. Theol.
Dean of the Chapel, Berea College