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COVID-19 Update March 24

Dear members of the Saint Louis University community, 

With nearly two days of remote learning under our collective belt, I want to thank all of you. Thank you to our students who continue to give our faculty members grace as many of them are exploring a new means of delivering their coursework. Thank you to our staff who are contributing in many selfless ways, including supporting and facilitating faculty and student success during this new way of operating. Thank you to our faculty for your unceasing devotion to our students and for supporting one another during this disruptive time. I have heard countless stories of faculty assisting each other from hosting virtual opportunities to learn from one another how to maximize remote learning success to sharing tips on staying healthy. And finally, thank you to our Billiken families for your tireless support of our students, your continued patience with our University, and your many expressions of gratitude for SLU and its people. 

This is exactly what I had in my head and my heart when we coined OneSLU in my email Sunday night.  

Student resources  

I want to share the link to an email from Dr. Debie Lohe, interim Vice President for Student Development. It was sent to students and parents. In it, Dr. Lohe describes how students can continue to maintain community and health as we settle into our “new normal.” 

Though students are the target audience, I believe that Dr. Lohe’s message offers information that will be valuable to faculty, staff and parents who are supporting our students – and each other.  

Technology & printing needs  

Following yesterday’s announcement about the Pius Library closure, we have heard from students who have unmet technology and printing needs. 

For students who have printing, or other technology, needs, we are working to identify a list of printers for students to have access to for printing. In the meantime, please email if you have an immediate need.

ITS launches virtual call center 

In addition to ITS’ Support Desk (, the division has launched a virtual call center to provide faster support for Zoom, Blackboard, and Panopto during this transition. To reach the call center, contact the main ITS Support Desk at 314-977-4000, and choose option 6 to be connected with an ITS technician. This service is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. 

A reminder about STL area “stay at home” orders  

I want to remind you that the City of St. Louis and surrounding counties, including the State of Illinois, have issued variations of a 30-day “stay at home” order as our community works exceptionally hard to flatten the curve. 

Yesterday’s campus-wide email had a list of the exemptions. Remember that some of these services, such as the University Counseling Center, are operating remotely.  

Deans and vice presidents should provide guidance to define who is or is not considered essential under the city’s order, and will give those individuals a letter identifying them as essential employees who are able to travel to and from work. 

Our daily communications, and many other resources, are saved on SLU’s COVID-19 webpage. We encourage you to send additional questions to   

In closing today’s message, I want to share a poem from Catholic blogger and author Laura Kelly Fanucci. 

“When this is over, 
may we never again 
take for granted
A handshake with a stranger
Full shelves at the store
Conversations with neighbors
A crowded theatre
Friday night out
The taste of communion
A routine checkup
The school rush each morning
Coffee with a friend
The stadium roaring
Each deep breath
A boring Tuesday
Life itself.
When this ends, 
may we find 
that we have become 
more like the people 
we wanted to be
we were called to be|
we hoped to be
and may we stay
that way – better
for each other
because of the worst.” 

God bless you, your families, and Saint Louis University. 

Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D.

Previous Updates to the SLU Community