March 17, 2020

Updates about the spring semester, including exams, commencement and refunds.

Spring semester plans

SUBJECT: COVID-19 updates, information regarding semester

Dear Furman Community and Families,

None of us could have imagined this moment in time just a few short weeks ago. As the situation with COVID-19 rapidly evolves, the university continues to make difficult decisions that allow us to maintain university operations and carry out our academic mission. First and foremost, our priorities have been the safety of our campus community and ensuring that students make progress toward their degrees.

With this in mind, I want to share with you the decisions made today regarding the academic calendar and related operations.


  • Students who have not already been granted exceptions will not return to campus for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. We are extending remote learning through the remainder of the semester, including final exams.
  • The Cultural Life Program will be suspended through June 3. May 2020 degree candidates will receive a waiver of the CLP requirement and will graduate in good standing, provided that all other degree requirements are successfully completed. All other students will receive a credit equal to four CLP events for this semester.
  • The course withdrawal deadline will be extended to April 28.
  • The deadline for using the pass-no pass grading option has been extended for May 2020 degree candidates until May 18.
  • The 2020 May Experience has been canceled. This includes all on-campus courses, domestic study away, and international study away May Experience programs.


  • We recognize the meaning that Commencement holds for our students and families, and it is with deep regret that spring Commencement exercises have been postponed. We are working to make plans to celebrate graduation at a later date in a way that will properly recognize and honor our seniors’ achievements. We know how disappointing this is to our students and their families. Please know that we share this disappointment. We will do everything we can to make this milestone event a special celebration when it is rescheduled and will communicate plans as soon as possible.

Retrieving personal items

  • We are creating a plan and schedule for students who have not yet retrieved their personal items from campus to do so in an efficient and safe manner. We will share those details this week.
  • Students who are currently residing in campus housing should go ahead and complete the express check-out process by emailing


  • Students will receive a prorated reimbursement for room, meal plans, and other incidental charges. Refunds and credits will be calculated for individual students. We will communicate the details of the process, including a schedule and instructions for electronic deposits, this week.


  • All Furman-sponsored events are canceled through June 3.


  • As a reminder, all Furman-sponsored travel for employees and students is suspended until further notice. Exceptions for employees require approval from their department’s vice president. We encourage everyone to reconsider any personal travel to limit exposure to COVID-19, following the guidance of health officials.

As you might imagine, we have received many calls and emails with questions about our plans.  While we might not be able to answer all of your questions immediately, please know that we hear you and are working hard to provide answers as soon as we have them. Please continue to monitor your email and check for regular updates.

Again, thank you to everyone for your continued patience and understanding as we work through this difficult situation. We realize that COVID-19 is an immense challenge for the Furman community and families. We are doing everything we can to protect your safety and provide the best educational experience and support under these circumstances.

Please be safe and take care of one another.


Elizabeth Davis