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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

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Following recent discussions with our Chancellor, Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, he has asked me to forward the following message of support. His message bears testament to the exceptional effort you are all making in adapting to the new ways of working brought about by COVID-19, and our priority to continue to support our students as well as our wider communities. Rightly, he also highlights the significant contributions of our students, many of whom are participating directly in front line work (in the NHS and across our health and social care sector) to overcome the virus both locally and nationally.

It is heartening to know our Chancellor is thinking of us all at this time. I know he is, as we all are, very proud of our university and the many contributions of our students and staff.

Vice ChancellorProfessor Julie Mennell


John_Sentamu_300px, John Sentamu Message 6th April 2020

Dearly Beloved,

As I come towards the end of my time as Archbishop of York and as Chancellor of Cumbria University, whilst the current COVID-19 pandemic is making things extraordinarily difficult for very many people, I am very heartened to hear from our Vice Chancellor of our great University how so many of you are stepping up to help and encourage people in need around you at this time. I have always been hugely proud of you, and thankful for you all, but all the more so now. I understand that some of you as final year nursing students are joining the front line of NHS staff to play your part in caring for those who are being treated for the COVID-19 virus. Your sense of vocation and commitment is an example to us all.

In the meantime, I know that your fantabulous staff are doing everything they can to support students and colleagues, despite the challenges many of you face due to caring responsibilities, lack of outdoor space, access to the internet and so on. I am struck by what a significant role you play as a university and as individuals in supporting your communities, especially during times of considerable uncertainty and need.

In my time as Chancellor I have always made it a priority to attend the University’s graduation ceremonies at Carlisle Cathedral. I am hugely proud of you as students, and of the institution of which you are a part.

I thank God for you all, and pray that you will all stay safe and focused on what you can do to address the challenges of this difficult period. In these days of isolation, stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives. May God bless you and may our University prosper and go from strength to strength.

With every blessing,


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