Liberty University on Tuesday welcomed students back from spring break, a rare instance of an American institution of higher education keeping an open campus amid the coronavirus pandemic.
School president Jerry Falwell Jr. said that as other institutions were closing down for the remainder of the semester, Liberty decided to "get [the students] back as soon as we can — the ones who want to come back." The school has transitioned to online classes and will maintain that system even for students who are back on campus.
"I think we have a responsibility to our students — who paid to be here, who want to be here, who love it here — to give them the ability to be with their friends, to continue their studies, enjoy the room and board they've already paid for and to not interrupt their college life," Falwell said.
The university is expecting as many as 5,000 students back in its dorms. Instructors and professors are also returning to the campus and will be holding office hours as the semester continues.