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COVID-19 Update March 12 (Evening)

Dear members of the Saint Louis University community, 

 As promised, I am writing to follow up on my message to you this morning.


I want to open with something to center us: A Twitter thread from Fr. Matthew Carnes, SJ, from Georgetown University. In his post, he reminds us that, “St. Ignatius and the first companions saw themselves as ‘communitas ad dispersionem’ – a community in dispersion.” He shared this concept in the context of the many Jesuit universities that, like us, are moving to remote learning. But the spirit of Fr. Carnes’ post is deeply rooted in our mission, which calls us to be united, even when we are apart. 

 The unfortunate, and in many cases devastating, issue of the COVID-19 pandemic is changing our norm. I hope you know that I – and the rest of us here at SLU – acknowledge how difficult this must be for many in our campus community. Our students are likely disappointed, and our employees might feel uncertain or overwhelmed. I hear you, I appreciate you and I am confident that we will do what Billikens always do: Prevail as a community. 


Our shared love for and commitment to our community is exactly why we decided to move to remote learning. We have a role in the St. Louis community to react responsibly to a pandemic situation and do our part to reduce potential spread and the toll that takes on our health care system. Higher purpose. Greater good. 

 Now that I have shared what is on my heart, I want to share what we are doing. Our team started work today with a few guiding principles in their heads and hearts: In addition to health and safety, we sought to minimize further disruption to the academic process, have inclusive discussions, be transparent and timely, and make measured, science-based decisions.


March 12 Updates


Thank you again for all you do for Saint Louis University. Please know that we will continue to communicate with you, and that you should keep referencing SLU’s COVID-19 website for more information. You can continue to send your COVID-19 questions to 


Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.

Previous Updates to the SLU Community