Lipscomb Security officer Maurice Conner dies after brief battle with COVID-19

Lipscomb Security officer Maurice Conner dies after brief battle with COVID-19

“It is with great sadness that I share the news of another loss in the Lipscomb family,” read an email from President Randy Lowry sent out to the Lipscomb community on Thursday afternoon. President Lowry went on to explain that the Lipscomb Security veteran and minister at the 19th Avenue Church of Christ in Springfield, Tennessee, Maurice J. Conner, had died of COVID-19, marking the third loss in the Lipscomb community in the past six weeks. Maurice Conner started at Lipscomb as a student and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1981. Shortly after graduating, he joined Lipscomb’s security team in 1983 and while serving the security team also earned his Master of Arts in Bible in 2000. Dr. Lowry shared how respected and loved Conner was among the Lipscomb community due to the “wisdom, compassion, and joyful nature,” that Conner brought to his job every day. “The deep and profound respect and love the security team has for Maurice was obvious as they relayed stories about shared work experiences, his humorous radio calls to dispatch to report on weather conditions during the third shift and their lively conversations about faith, theology and life,” said Lowry “In addition to being a dedicated security officer, Maurice was also a minister and mentor to his colleagues through the years.” In addition to the kind sentiments Dr. Lowry shared in his message, members of the Lipscomb Security team also expressed their admiration for Conner. “He was definitely gentle, caring, and very devout. He had clearly done a lot of his own thinking so any religious conversation you might have he...
Healthcare heroes in Lipscomb nursing community put in line for COVID vaccine

Healthcare heroes in Lipscomb nursing community put in line for COVID vaccine

Lipscomb Health Science students and faculty were moved up in line for the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes students in nursing, pharmacy and dietetics, according to Katie Watson, an assistant professor in the School of Nursing. “Several of our faculty and students have already started their vaccine series and a couple have already gotten their second one…we’re so thankful,” said Watson, who has seen the virus’ impact firsthand. “When we announced that we were seeing COVID patients, it was like the floodgates opened,” said Watson, who works at the Vanderbilt Walgreens clinic. “There was still so much uncertainty. Was it spread airborne? Do we need to wear an N95 mask versus a regular surgical mask? Do we need gown and gloves?” Watson received her vaccine in December, since she’s a member of the Vanderbilt healthcare community. “I will just say how I felt was ‘Wow’, I felt so honored and humbled on how privileged I am for the blessing to be able to be vaccinated.” As vaccines continue to rollout, concerns have popped up over their safety considering the fast turnaround. “I understand the worry of something new…but the government gave these drug companies unlimited funding in order to get this done and that is why it was able to be done so quickly,” Watson said. “So, I say, look at the facts. Check the CDC. Talk to your health professional or the Lipscomb Health Clinic, somebody who is knowledgeable in the medical field versus someone who has probably just read something on Google.” Ashley Newby, a junior nursing student at Lipscomb has also received the COVID vaccine for her...
Changes made to Spring 2021 calendar over COVID concerns

Changes made to Spring 2021 calendar over COVID concerns

As the beginning of the semester looms near, Lipscomb has made adjustments to its upcoming calendar in order to maximize student and faculty safety as COVID case numbers rise. Among these changes is a delayed spring break, online final exams and three periodic “Bison Breaks”. “With another semester on the horizon, we draw upon our experiences and lessons learned in the fall that help us prepare for a spring in which the COVID-19 virus will continue to impact our community,” said Lipscomb’s Incident Management Team in an email to students on Dec. 18. “We are planning for another exceptional on-campus student experience this spring —one that will be enriching, fulfilling and life-changing as well as one for the history books.” Lipscomb’s Bison Breaks will occur on the following days: Feb. 10 March 2 March 25 Spring Break is scheduled to take place April 12-16 and is set to be immediately followed by undergraduate classes transitioning to a remote format for the remainder of the semester. These changes are being made as the CDC ranks Tennessee as one of the worst states for COVID cases per capita after the post-Thanksgiving surge. “If we have another surge over Christmas, it will break our hospitals,” said Tennessee Health Commissioner Lisa Piercy in a news conference on Dec. 20. In response to this case surge, Tennessee’s Governor Bill Lee announced an executive order limiting indoor gatherings to ten people and encouraging Tennesseans to keep holiday gatherings to just those in their household. Executive Order 70 pic.twitter.com/ly2CuE8X1Z — Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) December 21, 2020 Lipscomb’s return to campus plan states that the university will continue to...
COVID fears end in-person graduation; Ceremony will take place virtually

COVID fears end in-person graduation; Ceremony will take place virtually

Lipscomb has announced a change of plans in commencement ceremonies. What was previously planned to be an in-person graduation ceremony will now take place virtually. The commencement ceremony will be broadcast live at 2 p.m. December 19 and will be live-streamed at lipscomb.edu/live and will be available for later viewing on Lipscomb’s YouTube channel, according to information from the provost’s office. The virtual baccalaureate service will take place at 5 p.m. December 18 and be streamed at lipscomb.edu/live . “After extensive consultation with local and state health officials, external medical personnel and knowing our own experience in managing the virus this fall, we have made the decision to celebrate December commencement virtually, similar to May’s ceremonies,” said Provost Craig Bledsoe, in an email to faculty. “While we are disappointed that circumstances surrounding the continued global pandemic have interfered with our plans for an in-person ceremony, it is very important to us to have a meaningful graduation season filled with celebration,” wrote President Randy Lowry, in an email to students....
As national and local COVID-19 cases climb, Lipscomb preps for upcoming months

As national and local COVID-19 cases climb, Lipscomb preps for upcoming months

As of Nov. 29, Davidson County has 2,900 active cases of COVID-19. This increases the number of cases that Nashville has had since the start of the pandemic to 46,000. Concerns over hospital capacity and the number of cases per 100,000 residents have led the mayor’s office to implement new restrictions, some of which could affect Lipscomb in the upcoming months. “For the last several of weeks our number of cases have inching up,” says Kim Chaudoin, assistant vice president for public relations and communication at Lipscomb. “We’ve had about three or four weeks where our numbers have really spiked…it’s interesting because it seems like there’s a correlation with as Nashville’s numbers have increased, ours have too.” Over the past few weeks, Lipscomb’s COVID-19 numbers have steadily climbed from zero cases the week of Nov. 2 to 33 cases in the last set of reported numbers on Oct. 23. This rise in cases and the increasing number of students in quarantine prompted Lipscomb to discourage students from returning after Thanksgiving break. “I get that [the correlation of Nashville and Lipscomb cases] makes sense because we have a lot of students who live off campus, people go to eat, they go to church and do a lot of activities,” added Chaudoin.  As students go online for the remainder of the semester and most students are now at home, campus cases are sure to decrease. However, the continued national and local increase in cases could signify changes in Lipscomb’s plans for graduation and the upcoming semester. Chaudoin says “the logical question might be what happens with graduation in December and I think we’re just going to kind...
Lipscomb kept track of COVID surge when they still planned in-person graduation

Lipscomb kept track of COVID surge when they still planned in-person graduation

Editor’s note: Prior to the announcement that graduation ceremonies will be held virtually, rather than in-person, university officials had their fingers crossed as they planned to do it live. Here is the story published about those plans and precautions prior to the decision to be safe and go virtual:   Graduation — the moment students and their parents anticipate from the outset of the college journey — will look different this winter. It is still scheduled for December 19 in Allen Arena, but because of COVID, attendance will be limited, leaving out the parents. And, given the surge of the virus, there still is a chance it will be moved online, as it was last spring. In the spring, graduates didn’t have the opportunity to walk across the stage. For the first time in the university’s history, they hosted a virtual graduation. Students and their families watched the ceremony online. This semester Lipscomb is trying — despite the COVID pandemic — to give students the opportunity to walk across the stage. Because of the concerns about crowds and social distancing, the ceremony will be limited to faculty and graduates only. Parents, family members, and friends will have to watch the graduation ceremony through live stream. Provost Craig Bledsoe describes the pains taken to make sure graduation is safe  during this era of the killer virus. “Knowing the restrictions we have, our plan is to have a graduation that resembles, looks like, feels like, what a regular graduation would look like for students,” he said. “Graduation will be physically distanced as much as possible, with guidelines we’ve been given by the...