Letter To Parents (3-17-20) | St. George's University

March 16, 2020

Dear St. George’s University Parents,

As I sit here tonight reflecting on the past few days, I want to first and foremost say thank you—for your patience, your understanding, and for trusting us to make difficult decisions to ensure that your students remain safe through this precarious and difficult time.

As you know, out of an abundance of caution and in an effort to limit the exposure to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) among members of our community, St. George’s University made the decision last week to encourage students on the Grenada campus to return home for at least the next four weeks. To assist the nearly 3,000 students who opted to leave Grenada, SGU brought in charter planes to fly students to three central hubs—Miami, Newark, and Toronto—where they could connect to their final destinations—locations all over the world.

I am happy to say that as of this evening (March 16), the last of our 16 charter flights has landed.

We know the process was at times understandably stressful, and we remain grateful for your patience during this difficult and complex operation. Our staff and faculty have worked around the clock to address challenges posed by this unprecedented global health crisis. We quickly worked to constantly refine and improve processes.

I want to highlight some of the extraordinary observations of human character we saw with our students throughout this experience that would make any parent proud:

  • Students acted selflessly to provide emotional support to their peers, at times acting as substitute parents for each other, throughout the disruption.
  • Students were faced with making hard decisions and their maturity and flexibility were evident.
  • Students left in part to lessen the burden on the health system in Grenada, hence improving public health on the island.
  • Finally, parents would be proud to know that many students made the choice to leave because they wanted to be with the ones that they loved at home during this global pandemic.

It has been incredibly heartwarming to see our staff, our students, and their parents support each other so positively in the face of this challenge. We are dedicated to continuing our efforts to protect and support our community in Grenada and now around the world.

Going forward, we will be continuing classes through online, distance learning as a supplement to students’ current educational program. The logistics are already underway. We have also pushed back exam schedules to accommodate students who need time to get to their destinations. We also have some luggage left behind that we are working to arrange for delivery.  Understandably, we prioritized moving people over all of the baggage.

SGU will re-evaluate the situation prior to April 15 based on global medical circumstances and will be in touch on the potential to return to Grenada. I encourage you to review the information at sgu.edu/coronavirus-response. This content will be updated on a regular basis so please check back often.

If you do not find the answers you need within the FAQs, please submit your questions to questions@sgu.edu or call 631-665-8500 ext. 1900.

A final word for now: your children are our family, too. Our school was founded on our desire to help ambitious and talented individuals thrive. Speaking on behalf of the entire SGU community, we are committed to making your child’s dreams of becoming physicians and other health care professionals come true. We are dedicated to adapting quickly to give them the academic, emotional, and physical support they need. Thank you so much for your understanding and support.

Kind regards,
Richard Liebowitz, MD
Vice Chancellor

On behalf of the entire SGU Leadership Team

SGU Provost Glen Jacobs poses with students before take-off.

Updated 3/16/20