This past Wednesday, my university, St. Gregory’s University in Shawnee, Oklahoma made the announcement that the university will be suspending operations after this semester. They did not receive a loan they had been counting on. Students have a month before finals. We must find elsewhere to continue our education. The faculty and staff, many of whom have families are now faced with the daunting prospect of finding new jobs. As the only Catholic college in Oklahoma, this news is tragic.
It was a normal Wednesday. I was in the middle of Ballet class, when it was suddenly interrupted with the news that all students, faculty, and staff must attend a mandatory meeting. I had no idea what was happening. Upon arrival, we were read a letter with the news. My first thought was disbelief. How could this happen? Why? What was I going to do? What about my friends?
I finally found a wonderful group of people who have changed my life. I am comfortable with them. They bring me so much joy. Suddenly, they are ripped away from me.
This news broke my heart. Many tears were shed (by many, I mean my face was swollen when I woke up on Thursday morning). Anger and frustration were keenly felt.
I am certain that God has a plan. The prospect of trusting in this plan is so so difficult. My senior year of high school, I was so stressed about choosing the perfect college. Though I was always told that if I didn’t like the college I picked, I could transfer, I never wanted that. I never wanted to have to go through the process of uprooting my life, my friends, everything. Seems like God had other plans.
With two and a half years of college left to complete, I have already applied to several schools and have a good idea of where I would like to end up. No matter what happens, I will always be grateful for the time I spent at St. Gregory’s. I was so excited for the future. St. Gregory’s gave me confidence in myself. I did things I never would of imagined I would be comfortable doing. I was vice-president of the Pro-Life team. I was heavily involved in the dance department. I helped form the first households at St. Gregory’s. I felt I was part of something exciting. I wanted to help make a difference in this place! And now, I am hit with the feeling that it was all for nothing, even though I know this isn’t true.
Some are searching for blame. But who can you blame in this situation? It does no one any good to assign blame, it doesn’t change anything.
Despite this heart wrenching news, I have never felt so closely connected to so many people. Students are pulling together. Professors, though facing their own more serious problems, are there for students. It is truly incredible to witness the amazing support around St. Gregory’s University during this difficult time.
I intend to make use of every minute of my last few weeks at St. Gregory’s. God put me here for a reason, and even though my time at St. Gregory’s will be cut short, I am so thankful for what St. Gregory’s has given me.
I would like to end by asking for prayers and help for all the faculty and staff of the university who are even more profoundly affected than the students. A GoFundMe has been set up to support them in this time of uncertainty. Please consider donating if possible. If not, please send prayers! https://www.gofundme.com/st-gregorys-christmas