May 1, 2020

Dear CBU Campus Community,

Like many of you, I very much wish we were together today gearing up to celebrate our graduates, having fun with end-of-semester events, and sending our friends off on summer break with a hug or high-five.

To our students, congratulations on being finished — or almost finished — with your final exams and projects. I am so proud of your resiliency, adaptability, and what can only be called grit as you have navigated the transition to remote learning.

To our faculty and staff, I am similarly impressed with the miracles you have performed this semester. You have found ways to move labs online, staffed a virtual library experience, and even volunteered during this busy time of grading and wrapping up the semester duties to call students just to check-in on their well-being. I cannot think of anything more Lasallian than your dedication to education.

As we close out this unusual academic term, I am writing to provide some important timely updates.

  • As you may be aware, local leaders have planned a phased reopening of Memphis and Shelby County, beginning on Monday, May 4. At this time, we are not planning to change our remote work operations on this date. The CBU campus will remain closed to the public until further notice, although students, faculty, and staff may request permission to come to campus to take care of essential matters by emailing

    We continue to offer remote access to all offices and campus services such as the Plough Library, Business Office, and Academic Services. You can find information on how to connect with them online at

    We will be working closely with local leaders to determine when and how we will open the campus again. All faculty and staff should remain in contact with their supervisors and deans as we determine the best plans for each campus unit. We will be announcing all future changes through CBU email and on our social media channels.
  • Remember, all Summer 2020 courses and programs will be presented online unless otherwise announced. We will continue to keep the website updated. Students with any questions about summer registration, should contact their academic advisors.
  • To help navigate our move forward, I have asked Chief of Staff Mary McConner to chair the Reopening CBU Advisory Task Force to explore all likely scenarios for Fall 2020. This group will prepare contingency plans that will keep the CBU community safe, healthy, and engaged, present recommendations to the Academic Council for evaluation and feedback, and then submit a final report to me and the Executive Team.

    I want to thank those who will be serving on this task force, including Mary McConner, who will serve as chair, Leslie Graff, Heather Harrington, Jack Hargett, Lurene Kelley, Chris Koch, and Kim Parish.

    At this time, we hope to be back on campus with in-person classes and open residence halls in time for the scheduled start of the Fall 2020 semester. At this time, however, we recognize that the public health situation is a very fluid one and continues to evolve on a daily basis. We can commit to you that we will be prepared to the best of our ability for any eventuality and we will inform everyone of any adaptations that may be necessary.

Throughout the weeks and months ahead, I and other members of the CBU team will continue to send notices to keep you abreast of the latest develops at CBU. As one example, in the next few days, you will receive information on how to navigate our optional grading scale. In addition, you soon will be receiving an update on residence life housing and dining refunds and credits.

I encourage you to continue to follow us on social media and to regularly check your CBU email to be sure you receive any future messages. You can also contact us at any time with questions or concerns at

Until we are able to return to our beloved in-person campus traditions, we will have to make do with more WebEx calls, TikTok challenges, and, for those of us who remain in the Memphis area, socially-distanced walks around Shelby Farms. I hope you will take this time to rest and re-energize yourselves following your final exams and papers. Throughout the course of the summer, I hope that we continue to remain connected, together and by association, as a Lasallian community.

I miss seeing all of you around campus and I am looking forward to doing so again soon. Until then, please keep safe and be well.

Warm regards,

Jack Shannon
President of Christian Brothers University