HENANDOAH RISES. . .
To the creative challenge,
To share talents, skills, compassion & empathy,
To establish new teaching methods
in the blink of an eye,
To support the community,
And each other,
From a distance.
Shenandoah Rises. . .
When courage is required,
With expertise that saves lives.
Shenandoah Rises . . .
When everything we thought we knew
or understood is tested,
But hope still shines brightly.
Check back for more stories about our amazing Hornets shining brightly in a dark time!
Share a new story with us! Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shenandoah’s School of Education & Leadership responded to the desperate need of k-12 teachers, and quickly started offering summer modules on how to develop online units, student assignments and assessments. The three-week modules are being offered at the deeply discounted price of $165 per module.
Shenandoah’s 600 student-athletes earned 1st place for Division III in a nationwide community service competition! The Hornets totalled 6,310 hours of community service this year!
I am so proud of the way our student-athletes embrace the university mission of becoming compassionate citizens, committed to giving back to our local community and beyond.” —Bridget Lyons
Dance Student Erisa Sloan choreographed her solo for the DA 242 101: Solo Composition around her experiences dealing with COVID-19.
It’s not been easy for any of us. The only thing that keeps me grounded is my faith. It’s is my only constant, regardless of what’s going on in the world.”
After 15 years, Rhonda VanDyke is “graduating” from Shenandoah. Her “senior year” ended with a socially distanced parade!
Rhonda, if we are to see this as a “graduation,” then you are graduating summa cum laude, for you have brought great creativity, passion, energy, imagination, humanity, and spiritual depth to your work. You have left an enduring legacy.” — Gary Robbins
Nursing student Carter Lawler ’22 sent a DNA swab to become a bone marrow donor a year ago. A few weeks ago she gave a life-saving donation to an 11-year-old boy with Leukemia!
I am beyond thankful for this opportunity! I ask for prayers that my stem cells heal this child’s broken immune system. I cannot wait to potentially meet him in the upcoming year.”
Kaytie is studying elementary and special education at Shenandoah.
I was student teaching when public schools closed for the year, I didn’t even get to say a proper goodbye to the kiddos. I started filming videos for my students to watch at home. They responded incredibly to the videos, some even write me sweet notes or do activities to go along with the books I read!”
Students in Shenandoah’s Shanghai-based MBA cohort have donated approximately 12,000 surgical masks, 3,000 respirator masks, 50 isolation gowns, and 1,250 pairs of surgical gloves! The Global Executive Track MBA class of 2020 sent these items to Winchester for SU to distribute in the United States!
Students in our Serving Your Community honors class are sewing masks! As part of the course, students volunteered throughout the semester, first in the Winchester community and then in their home locations after spring break, researching the strengths and needs of these regions. The course, taught by Keith Jones Pomeroy, Director of Civic Engagement, is part of the Sophomore honors program. LEARN MORE
Kristen Lynn Pugh ’12, ’18 (Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre, Professional Studies Program for Music Therapy Certification Eligibility) sang “Daisy Bell,” a song written in 1892 by British songwriter Harry Dacre, with Mary, one of the residents at Bickford of Bexley Assisted Living & Memory Care in Columbus, Ohio, where she currently serves as the life enrichment coordinator.
“I struck up a conversation with my elderly neighbor Vivienne, it just popped into my head to ask her if she needed anything. It was pretty adorable actually, all she needed was carrots and some potatoes, but she was really thankful and asked me to call her this week to see if there’s anything else she needs. After that I wrote little notes and stuck them in our other older neighbors’ mailboxes. It’s just a nice little way to help out in this weird and somewhat isolated time we’ve found ourselves in.” — Ali Dougherty ’20
Shenandoah converted The Armory on campus into a 40-bed homeless shelter to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The shelter will provide housing, food and personal protection supplies to the homeless and those facing displacement because of the pandemic.
We see it as our mission to not only take care of our students, but also our local community. We hope to do that by providing our armory building as temporary shelter, and what better space to offer than a building that has provided aid throughout history.” — Tracy Fitzsimmons
Shenandoah is providing free Wi-Fi access to those in need! Designated parking areas offer wireless internet connection, so local students can continue to pursue their education online.
Users should remain in their vehicles while using the wireless internet connection, as to comply with social distancing guidelines.
Shenandoah is hosting one of the biggest collegiate Minecraft experiments starting today and running through May 1! We’re competing against George Mason, Virginia Tech, Randolph College, Radford University and Patrick Henry Community College for the title of “best campus build!”
This is a time where we can build up from COVID as a group and find a way to work together. Minecraft can bring the creative feel and the competitive feel all in one, making it the perfect game.” — Chris Kumke
The ventilators were donated to Shenandoah by Valley Health to help teach nursing students. To help in the fight against COVID-19, the university decided to re-donate the ventilators.
It is so beautiful how sometimes good deeds come back to you. The school of nursing is pleased to donate these ventilators back to Valley Health to be used to help save lives. I am so happy for anything Shenandoah can do to support Valley Health.” —Tracy Fitzsimmons
This is a scary time, but also a beautiful opportunity to cultivate connection to what we have available: our forests, our gardens and our loved ones.” —Cree Catlett
Our students want to help people find healthy ways to cope with our current situation — like growing an herb garden. Seeing OUR students taking charge and doing what they can to help — it’s inspiring!” —Allyson Degrassi
Since our nursing, health professions, and pharmacy classes are currently online, the masks we would have used in those classes can now be used on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shenandoah is ready and willing to help our community in any way we can. Donating these masks is just one way we can aid in the fight against COVID-19 while protecting the health of our local medical personnel.” —Tracy Fitzsimmons
“I felt pulled to help after watching how the media portrayed the NY hospitals. This is my calling, to help others. This is why I became a nurse! Thank you Shenandoah University and all my professors who have taught me at Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing. You have prepared me for this moment. I couldn’t have done it without your help!” —Ashley Dunbar ’18
Students performed ‘Blithe Spirit,’ a classic play, in the era of physical distancing.
What else can artists do, but adapt? We are entertainers! Storytellers! Circumstances are changing, so we have to change with them! Who knows, maybe we’ll invent a whole new medium of entertainment in the process! Why allow fear of the unknown to hold us back? —Rachel Louis ’20
We made it!
Congratulations on reaching the close of a spring semester that no one could have expected or completely prepared for, but with Shenandoah pride and spirit, we not only met the challenge that confronted us, we rose above it!
Students, your dedication and creativity knew no bounds. You amazed us with your ability to accept the challenge of learning online. We admire the way you adapted to share your talents, skills, and compassion with the Shenandoah community and beyond.
Faculty, we thank you for adapting so quickly to deliver a virtual education. You set a high standard, and the students followed your amazing lead. Through your ingenuity and patience, Shenandoah maintained its academic excellence and will continue to graduate students who will go on to make a difference in the world.
Staff, we couldn’t have done any of this without you. You helped steer the ship during this tough time, all without batting an eye. We thank you all, especially those who continue to come to campus to keep it safe — from Public Safety to Physical Plant.
Although there will be no end-of-year celebrations in person, we hope that you join us online for our first-ever virtual graduation beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. A number of special guests will share messages of hope and congratulations — messages that we sent specifically for our Shenandoah students. We will also present the graduating class with a unique gift that reflects how much they’ve shined during their time at SU.
In addition to our sincere appreciation, you all have our support and encouragement as you continue to navigate these uncertain times. Shenandoah is a collaborative and resilient university that has stayed focused on the mission of inspiring critical thinking, lifelong learning, compassion, and ethical, responsible contributions for the betterment of communities around the world. Shenandoah will prevail and, at the end of this crisis, each of us will emerge and rise stronger and ready for a new future.
— Tracy Fitzsimmons
I am so honored and proud to be part of the Shenandoah community. You have risen and met challenges none of us ever imagined. You’ve made the best of an unexpectedly virtual university experience, with classes and meetings conducted at a distance while you’ve remained at home to stem the spread of COVID-19. You have used services like Zoom creatively and even crafted group performances and conducted science labs with this technology. And, you’ve reached out to members of your communities in need whenever you can, whether via online communication or a more low-tech method, like leaving a note in an elderly neighbor’s mailbox to offer your assistance.
I cannot imagine how you could have handled this unprecedented experience any better. Thank you, thank you, thank you — I just wish that I could say that to you in person!
Shenandoah is a caring, supportive community. That was true before this pandemic, and will continue to be so after as well. And Class of 2020, you will forever be a truly special class to all of us — for many of us, your graduation will signal the hope we all have for the future.
And remember, whenever we are faced with challenges, SHENANDOAH RISES.
— Tracy Fitzsimmons
The Shenandoah University community is a family bound together by creativity, compassion and resilience.
Wherever members of our community may be, on campus or off, they rise to the challenges of the day and make a difference.