Students were supposed to return from spring break last week, ready to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and the final stretch of classes before finals. That's not how it played out.
While still on spring break, students and faculty (and staff) learned classes would not resume as scheduled Monday, March 16.
Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., announced on Wednesday, March 11 that all in-person classes were suspended from Monday, March 23 through at least Monday, April 13. Father Jenkins instructed faculty to take the next week to prepare to teach remotely. The announcement came the same day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic — an outbreak of a serious new disease with sustained transmission throughout the world. By Wednesday, March 18, Father Jenkins announced the suspension of in-person classes would last the rest of the semester.
These are unprecedented decisions for a University that prides itself on learning and living in community.
In the midst of these announcements, Father Jenkins recorded a video message, which included this truth: "Notre Dame is still a community, even when we are far apart."
University of Notre Dame photographers Matt Cashore and Barbara Johnston captured these images that show how quiet and empty campus is without students. But there are also photos demonstrate community, as staff worked to feed the students who were here and pack up the study items for students who requested they be sent to them at home.