March 23, 1:30pm: Message from President to Alumni, Partners, and Friends

March 23, 1:30pm: Message from President to Alumni, Partners, and Friends

Dear Crown Alumni, friends, and partners:

The last few weeks have been unprecedented in US history. All of our lives have been interrupted. Kathy and I had planned to visit our daughter’s family in North Carolina over Spring Break. Not to be.

Some of you have had it far worse. Maybe you’ve lost a job. Maybe you’ve had to postpone a surgery. Maybe your finances have been severely crimped. Maybe you have a close friend or relative who has come down with the virus.

If you have any situation that you want us to pray with you about please let Julie Howe know at or reach out to her at 952.446.4348

I am so proud of the way Crown College people are working through this critical time. As my board chair, Gordon Paisley, reminded me last night, “Adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it.” And, oh my, does Crown have character!

As you may know, our online students have pretty much continued without any disruption. It’s a different story for our on-campus students.

  • My Administration has taken the following actions:
  • Transitioned all on-campus students to a virtual learning experience for the rest of the semester;
  • Cancelled all student events on campus this semester;
  • Cancelled commencement exercises on May 15-16;
  • Enabled remote work for most employees;
  • Suspended all travel for college purposes;
  • Put on hold all “destination serve” mission trips;
  • Limited access to the campus; and
  • Instituted safe student check out procedures so all students can pick up their possessions by Tuesday, March 24th.

This is still a rapidly changing situation. Please check for updates regarding our response to the COVID-19 crisis.

As you might imagine, students’ lives have been dramatically disrupted and sadly so. Graduating seniors may not be able to say good-bye to their closest friends. Some students will have greater difficulty than others adjusting to the virtual learning environment. Travel schedules are uncertain. Job opportunities may not be forthcoming as expected.

I want you to know that we are doing everything we can to help our students adjust to the new realities caused by conditions that exist in our nation right now. First, that means staying safe and healthy. Second, it means finishing this semester strong.

It also means that we will be refunding a significant portion of their semester’s living expenses. This will set the College back hundreds of thousands of dollars. While the College is in a strong financial position, our budget for 2019-20 is not likely to be.
I recognize that your ability to support Crown College may be much different today than it was even a month ago. Please hear me. I want you to take care of your family’s needs. Your church may have expanded opportunities to help its community and continues to need your full support.

But I make no apology in asking for your continued prayer and financial support for Crown College. I believe that the current crisis only underscores the importance of what we do—to educate our students and propel them with momentum into the world to meet its greatest challenges.

Thank you for your faithful generosity. As the Lord provides and prompts you—and only as the Lord provides and prompts you—thank you in advance for continuing to partner with us through this crisis.

Last week, I spoke in chapel at Crown College. Of course, only a handful of staff were present in person, but dozens of students, staff, and faculty joined via the live stream.

I reminded our Crown family of the story of King Hezekiah who face an existential crisis for his nation. His capital city was besieged by a foreign power. His people were vastly outnumbered. It looked grim. But he reminded his people as I reminded our people,

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.
(2 Chronicles 32:7-8)

I invite you to watch the chapel at

May God remind all of us to remember that “with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.”

In the joy of our Lord,

Joel Wiggins