'Another World': CGU in a Time of Pandemic and Quarantine


An overview of the university’s measures to protect its community and continue its academic mission

ON A cool WEEKDAY MORNING in late March, CGU President Len Jessup was the only figure who could be seen travelling the university's deserted campus.

Normally this can be a busy season, and CGU is typically buzzing with activity because the end of the academic year approaches-but this year is way from typical.

Since mid-March, the campus-like other companies, organizations, businesses, and educational institutions nationwide and world-has been turn off in reaction to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The entire CGU community of college, students, and staff is working remotely from their homes in observance of federal and state social distancing measures.

Though campus security has stepped up patrols of CGU and the other Claremont Colleges, Jessup says he still loves to come across.

\”I try to get over here every few days simply to check on the place. I'm not far away,\” said Jessup, whose house is a block away on Harvard Avenue. \”In my years in higher education, I've never experienced anything like this. It's unprecedented. It is a whole new world.\”

At time this article was released, a federal social distancing guideline through April 30 was at place across the nation. Jessup said his leadership team was working hard to create continuity plus some semblance of normalcy despite a continuously changing situation.

CGU's swift online transition provides a 'business as usual' alternative during unusual times.

That effort includes Jessup's participation in a variety of meetings via Zoom along with other social media platforms, including a recent Graduate Student Council Town Hall which was organized to deal with the pandemic's impact on the university.

In this time of social distancing, Jessup also has been forced to replace his typical accessibility and approachability having a regular weekly email towards the CGU community to stay associated with them.

Sometimes these messages contain practical information associated with online learning; sometimes they provide encouragement and express thanks.

\”I would like you all to understand how proud I'm famous you,\” he wrote in one message with the simple subject line \”We'll get through this-.\” \”I've always asserted this university is nimble and entrepreneurial which this can be a place where we care deeply about students and their success. All of that is truer now than ever. I'm astonished by everyone, and i am lucky to become here with you.\”

Students & Faculty

With the appearance of spring break a few days of March 16, the university's Office of Information Technology team prepped faculty to completely move to a web-based instructional format throughout the semester. Within an email towards the community Jessup expressed his because of faculty for his or her flexibility and responsiveness towards the quickly changing situation. Pictured here is Professor Robert Klitgaard, who is seen talking to students in the Policy Design & Implementation course.


During springbreak, the university's staff-like students and faculty–also transitioned to some work-from-home setup with the aid of the university's OIT team. Before staff left for quarantine, department supervisors worked with their groups to recognize mission-critical tasks and ensure that these services could be supported digitally from home.


A part of CGU's swift transition to online support includes most of the resources that students need through the academic year, including the university's career center, writing center, and support from the Claremont Colleges' student health services. Many of these were up and operational when the stay-at-home decision was put in place.


All in-person events throughout the spring semester were canceled. As an alternative, webinars, livestreams, and other online options were developed. This included a livestream from the video \”Excavation at Akko\” and \”The Storm Makes You Stronger: Managing The mind in the Face of Crisis,\” a web-based session with Drucker's Jeremy Hunter.

Commencement 2021

This month, Jessup and Provost Patricia Easton announced towards the community that this May's Commencement ceremony have been cancelled. Within an email message he and Easton said that the annual in-person event “will be postponed until a period when health regulations determine it is once more safe to collect in public places.”

In its place, they said, the university will host a special online commencement event on May 30. Families and friends can virtually attend the event, as well as in host to walking across the stage, graduates' names is going to be read aloud while a photo and personal message from the graduate will be displayed on the screen.

Jessup also recorded a unique video addressed to the university’s newest graduates:


Outreach & Positive Social Impact

Beyond transitioning to remote learning, many within the CGU community also have concentrated on another aspect of the pandemic: helping others.

Many faculty experts have been offering their insights to major media outlets; others like SCGH Professor Javad Fadardi are on the frontlines of the global crisis in places like Iran.

Closer by, SCGH's Bree Hemingway and Kimberly Morones (pictured) used materials and the nearby Umakers space both provided by Drucker alum Rob Perhamus to create protective masks for healthcare workers at local hospitals.

To highlight these and other inspiring examples, the university has launched a web-based story series, \”CGU Heroes,\” about people in our community who're providing an expert, compassionate reaction to the pandemic. Fadardi's story is one.

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