With tape to mark their desks and plenty of space between them, masked-up students returned to face-to-face classes at Spalding University on Monday and Tuesday for the first time since March.

Students said it was great to see their friends’ faces again – even if it was only the top half of those faces – and resume the in-person courses that they’d missed.

“I love being in in-person classes,” sophomore nursing student Samantha Roberson said. “I hope it continues, and I think it will continue if people keep wearing their masks like they should be and have been.”

When Roberson and fellow nursing students Erica McMann and Claire Houck arrived at their anatomy and physiology lecture class at the Egan Leadership Center’s Troutman Lectorium on Monday, at least every other chair was removed from the rows of long tables, with tape marking the spaces where they could sit.

“It was a little bit weird to get used to it at first,” Houck said, “but we’re supposed to be in class, not gathered and talking anyway, so it was nice.”

Fully in-person classes make up about 20 percent of the course sections at Spalding this session. The University is providing both in-person options and an array of fully or partially remote classes. The result is to accommodate students who want or need a traditional on-campus learning experience – especially in lab and hands-on courses – while keeping the overall density of people on campus low during the pandemic. Spalding has also expanded and enhanced its remote learning programs and technology in recent months and years.

The three nursing students said some of their classmates joined the class home, watching on an web stream that is available for every in-person course at Spalding this session.

“I thought that was cool,” Houck said.


Houck, McCann and Roberson said the lab portion of their anatomy and physiology course has been divided into two groups. Half of the students meet in person one day,  while the other half meets online. The next day, the groups swap.

Houck, McMann and Roberson all also live in the Spalding Suites. They said they preferred the expanded move-in period from last weekend. Returning students moved into the Suites by appointment over two days instead of one day in years past.

MOVE-IN 2020 | Residential students bring ‘renewed energy’ to campus

They said they had not encountered anyone on campus who was not wearing a mask or keeping a safe six-foot distance from other people.

“If everyone continues to do what they need to do to keep themselves and their community safe and healthy, we’ll all be just fine,” Houck said.

Another group of nursing students – those in Spalding’s accelerated BSN (second degree) program – had their first-ever day of on-campus classes on Monday at the Republic Bank Academic Center.

“I do feel safe, and I love the fact that Spalding (has) the flexibility but also the standards that they are enforcing like this is a real thing,” student Melissa Davis said. “‘Everybody follow the precautions. Everybody does their own part.’ And then I also feel like I won’t be penalized if I get sick.”

“It’s chilled out having your own table in a big space. Anxiety is definitely down.”

All the students interviewed on Monday said they had completed the #CampusClear health assessment before arriving on campus. That, along with wearing masks and staying socially distant and agreeing to the Spalding Promise pledge, is a key tenet of Spalding’s Return to Campus plan.

The app “is really easy to navigate,” second-degree BSN student Brittanie Glasser said.

Second-degree BSN student Craig Blasi, who previously attended a large public university, said he is already enjoying the small class sizes at Spalding.

“It’s a good family atmosphere,” he said. “I just met all my classmates today, and we’re all really close already. (At the larger university), it wasn’t bad; it was just big. I didn’t feel as included as I do here.”

There were fewer people and a lot more masks than usual, but the result was the same as every year: Students are back in the halls at Spalding University.

Spalding welcomed dozens of first-time first-year students to Morrison Hall on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 17-18, for a well-planned, masked-up and socially distant freshman move-in.  Everything looked a little different, but, by all accounts, the process went smoothly.

“It’s a wonderful week to welcome students to Spalding,” Dean of Students Janelle Rae said. “Even though we’re having to make a couple accommodations and sacrifices this year due to COVID-19, people are stepping up to the plate and leaning into the community spirit and making it a special day for students.”

Students and their families arrived at scheduled times Monday and Tuesday, having taken the #CampusClear daily health-assessment to gain access to campus. All were compliant with health protocols, wearing masks and keeping their distance.

“They’ve been great team players,” Residence Life Director Aaron Roberts said. “People want to do the right thing.”

Returning students will move into the Spalding Suites Friday through Sunday, with this year’s move-in process extending to five total days in order to reduce crowding. In previous years, all students in both halls would move in over two days. All residential students in 2020-21, with all of them having a room to themselves (while paying the standard, less expensive double-occupancy rate).

MORE | Healthy Together at Spalding home page
MORE | Read the Return to Campus Plan

First-year student Juli Nelson, women’s soccer player and nursing major from Munster, Indiana, said moving into Morrison Hall was an easy process and that felt safe “100 percent” well-organized, due to the appointment system.

Nelson, who is the oldest of four siblings, said she has a room to herself for the first time in her life.

“I was like, ‘I’m so excited. I have my own space,'” she said. “That was a pleasant surprise.”


Trevon Washington, an athletic training major and basketball player from Warrensville Heights, Ohio, said that while COVID-19 has changed the landscape, it has not shaken his excitement to begin college and make the most of this milestone in his life.

“I’m excited to move in, start a new journey, meet new people, live and be on my own and start new things and new challenges in my life,” he said.

“It’s definitely different walking around with masks and staying six feet apart from people, but I’m still getting the college experience. It’s just a matter of being mindful of where you’re at, who you’re around. I feel like wearing a mask doesn’t change how your college experience is. You’re still here. You’re just wearing a mask. It’ll still be good.”

Nelson is also taking a positive approach to the limitations and changes that the pandemic forced. She injured her knee during his senior year, so she said it will be beneficial to her recovery that the soccer season at Spalding has been moved from fall to the spring. Moving the season also will give her more time to acclimate to a new city and new classes.

“It would normally be a lot going on,” she said. “Now, everything is coming in (phases and) groups, and I like that.”

Nelson’s mother, Erin, said move-in day brought all the mixed emotions one would normally expect for a parent sending her oldest child off to college. On top of that, she said, the pandemic makes it all “kind of a scary, uncertain time.”

“But mostly, I am just proud and incredibly excited for her to get started,” Erin Nelson said. “She’s responsible, and she’ll handle all the social uncertainty just fine.”

Spalding President Tori Murden McClure, the first woman to row a boat unassisted across the Atlantic Ocean and a former Board Chair of the National Outdoor Leadership School, has many times explained the value of learning to be comfortable with uncertainty.

“We learn to lean into it,” Roberts said, “and for us, that’s showing compassion and having high standards. You empathize with those who are at the same time both nervous and excited, and you set high standards and put your best foot forward.”

Morrison Hall residential advisor Neema Ileine, a fourth-year student who majors in social work and psychology, said she is eager to help the younger residents on her floor.

“I want to be someone who students can look up to,” she said. “Some of them are coming far from home, and I want to be that support for them. Especially now with all that is going on, I want them to know, ‘I’m here for you. We’re all going through this, and you’re not alone.'”

Five months after face-to-face classes were suspended and students left the halls, Roberts said it was exciting to see students returning again.

“It’s new life back on campus,” he said. “It’s why we’re here, and it’s renewed energy. You get the energy from the students.”

Aaron Roberts, Director of Residence Life, sent the following message to students on June 18, 2020, regarding on-campus housing this fall:

Dear Golden Eagles,

It has always been a priority of our Residence Life team to provide a home away from home where you feel safe, connected, and empowered. As we anticipate the course of COVID-19 for the fall, your health and safety are our priority. Per the guidance of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we will open on-campus housing in August at a lower density for the 2020-2021 academic year.

What will low-density, on-campus living look like?

Students will be assigned single room occupancy in either Morrison Hall or the Spalding Suites but will be charged the lower rate of a double room.

At single room occupancy, no more than 2-7 students will be living per suite in the Spalding Suites.
A number of private rooms will be set aside as isolation rooms for symptomatic students with access to single use restrooms and showers.

Please complete your Housing Preference Form by Friday, July 10.  Students will receive a housing assignment on Wednesday, July 15. We will do our best to assign adjacent rooms to students who have requested a roommate. We will use the same guidelines from the governor and the CDC to inform our safe use of shared spaces. We will provide further details with the housing assignment.

At this time, we feel confident that every student who applies for housing will receive a housing offer. However, the number of students we will be able to house this year will be limited based on these guidelines. If housing applications exceed our capacity, priority will be given to students who live more than 30 miles from campus. You can stay up to date with our Return to Campus Plan at https://spalding.edu/covid/

We thank you for your patience and for doing your part to keep our campus community safe.  Reach out to me anytime with questions at [email protected] or contact our Residence Life Operations Coordinator Deanna Kirby at [email protected]. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @reslife_su.

My team and I look forward seeing you this fall!

Aaron Roberts
Director of Residence Life


March 25, 2020

Dear Spalding Students,

As concern continues over the spread of the coronavirus, the safety of our students and employees remains our top priority. As a result, Spalding’s academic leaders have decided to extend the University’s suspension of face-to-face and hybrid classes through the entirety of Session 5.  All classes will be conducted fully online until at least May 11, 2020.

The campus will remain closed except for the small group of students still living in the residence halls and the employees who are needed to ensure their care.  Students who left the residence halls earlier this month should expect to remain at home until at least May 9, 2020.

We hope everyone is adjusting well to the move to fully online learning that began on Monday for most students. Please maintain contact with your instructor during this time. We have asked all faculty to be as flexible as possible to meet student needs during this crisis.

Commencement decision in late April 

We expect that many students have questions about our plans for Commencement, which is scheduled for Saturday, June 6. We continue to hope that we will be permitted to host some variation of Commencement. To keep this hope alive, we will wait until the last reasonable moment to make a final decision. Because students will need to order regalia, and families might need to make travel plans, we will announce our decision in the last week of April. We suggest that students postpone ordering their regalia or making travel arrangements for their families until we announce our decision.

Students who plan to graduate should still submit their Application for Graduation through Web Advisor. Applications should be submitted no later than 8 a.m. on Friday, April 24.  Commencement 2020 is open to all graduating students who have already or will complete requirements from Oct.9, 2019 through Aug. 15, 2020.

We thank everyone for their understanding and for adapting to this unprecedented disruption to our campus operations and the way of life in our country. The Spalding community is strong, and we will get through this together.


Dr. John E. Burden
Professor of Chemistry
Spalding University

Got everything you need to start college?

With our new group of first-year Spalding University students set to arrive on campus in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, it’s a good time to remind our newcomers of the residence life department’s recommendations of what to pack for school and your life in the Spalding dorms.

Spalding’s beSU Move-In for new students is Wed, Aug. 19, the first day of Engage. (Here’s your checklist of what to get when you’re making those trips to the department store. We’ve put them in categories for items related to studying, sleeping, cleaning, eating and bathing/self-care, plus and a catch-all “miscellaneous” category.)

Be sure to check the student handbook for which items NOT to bring or which aren’t allowed in the dorms, as well as other information and rules regarding residence life.

If you have other questions about the dorms, email Residence Life Director Aaron Roberts at [email protected]








Index cards




Mattress cover


Throw blanket



Storage containers


Damage-free hanging strips


Laundry basket

Detergent/fabric softener

Small trash can

Trash bags

All-purpose cleaner

Paper towels/tissues

Broom and dustpan


Mini fridge




Travel mug

Water bottle




Shampoo/conditioner/body wash

Shower shoes/shower caddy





Nail clippers/tweezers

Other needed personal hygiene items



Small first-aid kit

Small sewing kit


Alarm clock

Checkbook/driver’s license

Prescription and over-the-counter medicines




Spalding University will join a city-wide effort next month to train a world-record number of citizens in a suicide-prevention technique known as “QPR,” or “Question, Persuade, Refer.”

Spalding will be among the many sites around Louisville hosting free, public 90-minute training sessions during National Suicide Prevention Week, which is Sept. 9-15. The QPR course, designed for anyone 18 years or older, teaches the warning signs of suicide, how to offer help and how to refer people to get help.

Spalding’s sessions will take place in the Kosair Charities Health and Natural Sciences Building at the following times:

*Monday, Sept. 10, 12:30 – 2 p.m.
*Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2-3:30 p.m.
*Wednesday, Sept. 12, 12:30-2 p.m.
*Thursday, Sept. 13, 2:30-4 p.m.

To attend a Spalding session, participants MUST  register online.

As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 100 total people had registered for the Spalding sessions, with space limited, so those interested should register quickly to secure a spot.

Mayor Greg Fischer and city leaders are encouraging members of the public to share the word and get as many relatives, friends, coworkers, etc. as possible to participate in the training and try to establish a Guinness world record for the number of people trained in a single week. Registration information for the dozens of other free training sessions around Louisville can be found at qprlou.com.

No specialized mental health care training or expertise is required for those taking the training. Certified trainers will discuss myths about suicide, identify warning signs, outline how to talk to someone who may be thinking about suicide and how to persuade them to seek help.

QPR is similar to CPR in that it is designed to support an emergency response to someone in crisis, and to save lives.

Leaders from Spalding’s School of Professional Psychology, office of Counseling and Psychology Services (CaPS) and office of Residence Life are helping organize and conduct the training on this campus.

“Suicide prevention is everyone’s responsibility,” said Dr. Allison From-Tapp, director of Counseling and Psychological Services. “Anyone can learn to help prevent suicide with some questioning and compassion. QPR was designed to teach individuals to ask the question of suicide, persuade someone to get help, and make appropriate referrals. Through this 90-minute training you will learn the tools you need to help save a life and plant the seeds of hope.”

According to 2017 Home Equity Report, there were 584 suicide deaths in Jefferson County from 2011-15, compared with 333 homicides for the same period. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates are on the increase, and more than half of people who die by suicide do not have a known mental health condition.

“Suicide rates have been rising steadily over the past decade,” said Dr. Steve Katsikas, chair of the Spalding School of Professional Psychology. “Suicide cuts across geographic and demographic boundaries. It is an issue that can impact almost anyone. Learning how to intervene can make a difference and save a life. We are committed to providing training to our community to help make the widest impact possible.”

The city’s QPR undertaking has roots from 2016, when the Louisville Health Advisory Board’s Behavioral Health subcommittee held the Bold Moves Against Suicide Summit on Spalding’s campus.