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Cautious, smart reopening set for ‘The Haven’

Now in its 150th year, Lock Haven University has not had to deal with such a crisis as the coronavirus, save for the 1918 flu pandemic.

But working to adapt to a new normal, LHU just announced a “Return to The Haven” for students the fall of 2020.

With that, LHU President Dr. Robert Pignatello also announced the campus will see slight increase in enrollment.

That’s great news!

“We are encouraged by our positive enrollment and retention numbers for this fall,” Pignatello said. “The latest fall 2020 headcount enrollment projection represents a slight increase from the official fall 2019 enrollment. This is the first time in seven years that LHU is showing a projected fall enrollment increase.”

LHU boasts a study body of about 3,425, including 2,807 undergraduates; 358 graduate students; 49 undergraduate majors and certifications with 47 minors.

Guided, in part, by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education — LHU is among 14 state-run colleges — the Bald Eagle family is preparing for a very modified campus experience that will include a mix of in-person, face-to-face and remote instruction this fall, while resuming certain activities with limitations, restrictions and safety protocols in place.

“This will indeed be a different experience than we are used to as we institute necessary safety precautions to provide for the health and well-being of all members of our community,” Pignatello said.

He emphasized the message we’re all hearing over and over: People must take personal responsibility to protect themselves and each other.

Like all institutions of higher education, LHU is also consulting with health officials, staff and others, plus its taking serious the COVID-19 prevention guidlines offered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and state Department of Health.

Yes, it’s been a quiet spring in Lock Haven.

Too quiet.

We miss the buzz of students walking around campus and in the community.

We missed “the crawl.”

We missed the pagentry related to graduation and the various awards and honor ceremonies recognizing students’ achievement and service.

Life in this little town has been and continues to be built — to a large extent — around this small college on the hill overlooking the beautiful Susquehanna River.

And here’s a great fact about the quality of education at LHU: Courses are taught by faculty members, not graduate students or teaching assistants, and its student-to-faculty ratio is 14 to 1.

Lock Haven University was founded in 1870 for the very noble purpos of training school teachers.

Today, LHU is increasingly known for its health-care related programs of study, science, recreation management, business management and so much more, including educating and training teachers.

We can’t wait to see the campus abuzz with students, faculty and staff come late summer.

While 2020 may go down as “the lost year” in many minds, we’re happy to hear LHU will round out its 150th year of existence advancing its critical mission.

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