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In order to ensure the safety and well-being of students and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic, Westminster College will postpone its 166th commencement ceremony scheduled for May 9, the New Wilmington campus announced Thursday evening. “This was a difficult decision to make because we understand how very important this celebration is to our hard-working seniors and their families, but we are in unprecedented times,” said Westminster College President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson. “We did not arrive at this decision lightly. We are saddened, but we are also committed to keeping our students, their families and Westminster’s employees safe.” While a new date has not yet been set, Richardson said a formal commencement celebration will take place. Westminster’s campus task force continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will follow state and CDC recommendations regarding social distancing and large group gatherings. “Commencement is a joyous time and we look forward to celebrating our students’ achievements and to seeing our seniors walk across Weisel Senior Terrace to receive their diplomas,” said Richardson, adding that graduating seniors and their families will be notified as soon as a new date has been established.

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Due to travel restrictions for Harvard University students and faculty, the Harvard Glee Club has announced the cancellation of its 2020 Heartland Tour, which included a March 16 performance at St. Vincent College. In canceling the performance, the Harvard Glee Club sent the following announcement: “Regretfully, the Harvard Glee Club announces that it will not be able to embark on its 2020 Heartland Tour. This announcement is the result of Harvard University administration’s preventative restrictions on domestic travel for students and faculty, placed in early March due to health and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19. These and similar restrictions have impacted student group travel, on-campus activities and day-to-day life across the university. The Glee Club is deeply grateful to its partners, collaborators, and all others in Ithaca, New York; Pittsburgh and Latrobe, Pennsylvania; Athens, Marion and London, Ohio, and Ann Arbor and Albion, Michigan, who provided support for the tour.” SVC added in its Tuesday afternoon press release, “At present and per information available from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, there are no suspected or confirmed cases at St. Vincent College or in Latrobe.”

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Spring is a great time to get outside and be more active! Penn State Extension, University Park, is offering an eight-week walking program to help turn behaviors into healthy habits. Moderate activity, such as walking, reduces stress and fatigue and increases mental alertness. It improves cardiovascular functioning and strengthens bones. Combined with healthy eating, it can help to reduce or maintain body weight and decrease incidence of certain chronic diseases. Gather your family, friends, or co-workers to form a team of up to five. Even your dog can be a member of your team! Team members will try to walk or exercise an average of 15 miles per week, for a total of eight weeks. Walk with your team or on your own, at a time and place convenient for you. Weekly newsletters include motivators to keep walking and strategies for eating healthy — so, everyone can keep moving toward a healthier lifestyle. Everybody Walk Across PA is a great program for worksites, schools, community groups, and more. Individuals with all levels of physical ability are encouraged to participate. An exercise conversion chart is available to help you convert physical activity into miles walked. The program will run March 30 through May 18. It’s free, but registration is required by March 30. To register, visit extension.psu.edu/everybody-walk or contact Karen Bracey at 570-836-3196.

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