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Message from the president and provost regarding Commencement, housing, and campus closure

This message was sent to all CCA students, faculty and staff by President Stephen Beal and Provost Tammy Rae Carland on March 19.

Dear CCA Community,

As the COVID–19 pandemic unfolds around the world and guidance and directives from public health officials continue to evolve, we find ourselves faced with new challenges daily. In these times, we are incredibly grateful for the CCA community we share. The creativity, resiliency, resourcefulness, and humanity of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends are heartening, and they keep us confident in our bright future as we navigate these dark circumstances together.  

CCA leadership has been meeting multiple times daily throughout this crisis, discussing options and making decisions with the ever-present goal of protecting the health and safety of all. Many of those decisions are difficult and some tear at our hearts, but all become clearer as we consider the well-being of our community above all else. 

With this in mind, we have decided to cancel our spring 2020 Commencement ceremonies. While we had held out hope we would be able to move forward with our original plans, we recognize that will not be possible given the ongoing trajectory of this pandemic and public health officials’ recommendations against public gatherings. Having made this decision, the Commencement Planning Committee is now shifting its focus and energies toward designing an alternative celebration; one that honors our students’ accomplishments and time together at CCA, even as we must remain apart. A message went out earlier today to our 2020 graduates and their families, which you may read here

The increasingly restrictive guidelines limiting social contact and gatherings have also led us to the decision not to reopen our shops, studios, and libraries for the remainder of the semester. We look forward to returning to campus as soon as possible, and we are working with optimism on plans to offer an expanded schedule of classes and studio access as soon as it is safe to do so. 

We understand that the need to keep the shops and studios closed through the end of the semester may in turn affect some of our students’ decisions whether to remain on campus or to return home to complete the spring term remotely. While we remain committed to keeping CCA’s residence halls open to those students who need them, we are asking those who have safe housing alternatives to move out of CCA residence halls for the remainder of the term. This is for the safety of residents, as it enables greater social distancing and provides flexibility in the event any student residents must self-isolate. Students who move out of the residence halls for the rest of the semester will receive a credit for their housing costs prorated to Tuesday, March 17. The Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students will follow up with student residents today with detailed information about the timeline and processes for moving out and receiving a credit or refund. 

We also recognize that many of our students, whether due to global travel restrictions or other circumstances, rely on CCA housing for safety and security, and we will continue to welcome and support those students in our residence halls. 

We must acknowledge that it is only a matter of time before this pandemic touches the CCA community directly. It is our responsibility as a college and as a community to take whatever steps we can now to help safeguard the most vulnerable among us, our friends, neighbors, peers, and loved ones. We are holding you in our hearts, and look forward to being with you in the virtual world until we can be together again on campus.  

Take care,

Stephen Beal


Tammy Rae Carland