Month: March 2020

ECC to Postpone Commencement Ceremony

March 25, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College is postponing the spring commencement exercises due to the likelihood of continued advisories regarding public gatherings.

Dr. Jon Bauer, ECC president, said the decision was made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He noted that there is no specific date for the rescheduled graduation activities. However, plans call for a rescheduled commencement this summer or winter.

“In light of current restrictions concerning large groups, and the likelihood that those restrictions will continue for quite a while, we have decided to postpone commencement,” he said.

The commencement had been scheduled for May 16.

Dr. Bauer added that student health and well-being is ECC’s top priority.

“This is a difficult decision. I believe strongly that commencement is a very important milestone for students, their family and friends, and our faculty and staff,” he said. “I never want a student deprived of that opportunity.”

According to Dr. Bauer, students and the public will be informed about the new ceremony details when decisions are made.

“Our plan is to reschedule commencement later this year, perhaps late summer or as a winter event,” he said “All graduates will be invited to participate.”

Dr. Bauer recognized that the recent events have created a lot of uncertainty and change at ECC and in the community.

“We are committed to providing an environment that will enable you to reach your academic goals while protecting the health of our students, employees and the community,” he commented.

“I want to encourage you to keep moving forward as we work through the pandemic,” Dr. Bauer wrote in a message to students.

“Your academic environment has changed, but our commitment to you has not. You can do this, and I look forward to congratulating you when the day comes that you walk across the stage as a graduate of East Central College.”

Information about how ECC is responding to COVID-19 and changes made at the college will be updated at


ECC Students Inducted Into PTK Honor Society 

March 24, 2020 | Campus News

There have been 29 East Central College students inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) in Union this spring.

Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society for two-year colleges. Members pursue activities that fall under the direction of the society’s hallmarks of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Fellowship. A ceremony had been scheduled Friday, March 20, but was canceled due to health and safety concerns regarding COVID-19.

The students are part of the Chi Delta chapter of PTK. Recruitment will continue through the end of the semester. Listed below are the names of the students and the towns where they live:

Guy Baskerville, Union;

Nathaniel Blocker, Washington;

Jacob Brinker, Washington;

Madison Brinker, Washington;

June Brown, Cuba;

Alexander Carey, Union;

Griffin Case – Union;

Tela Connors, Salem;

William Galli, Washington;

Thomas Henderson, Rosebud;

Samuel Holland – Hermann,

Ian Howell, Washington;

Alexis Kinnison, Union;

Krista Licklider, Bourbon;

Erin Lindberg, Union;

Christy Love, Union;

Madison Mallady, Cuba;

Jenna Meintz, Cuba;

Sarah Murphy, Robertsville;

Annie Page, Bourbon;

Samantha Peterson, Union;

Shyann Plumlee, Villa Ridge;

Courtney Redhage, Beaufort;

Jessica Reed, Sullivan;

Benjamin Schwanitz, St. Clair;

Kennedy Smith, New Haven;

Anthony Terry, Owensville;

Lucille Vanek, Washington; and

Blaire Wright, Beaufort.

Headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, U.S. territorial possessions and eight sovereign nations. More than three million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 134,000 students inducted annually.

ECC Campus Closed Until April 6

March 20, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College is closing until April 6 to help impede the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus.)

ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer said the decision was made in regard public health and safety. The closure begins at 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 20.

To date, there are no active cases of COVID-19 among the ECC community, and no one associated with the college has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Dr. Bauer explained that the closure is consistent with a Franklin County Commission order addressing the  capacity of people in buildings, as well as CDC and Surgeon General guidelines of  “15 days to stop the spread” of the coronavirus.

“This closure is necessary for the safety of our students and employees, and consistent with public health objectives,” he said.

ECC was scheduled to be closed for spring break March 22-28. The new directive states that employees and students will not be on campus until April 6. The closure includes the Union and Rolla campuses. 

Beginning April 6, instruction will continue remotely and online. ECC facilities will only be open to employees, and students for essential services/support.

During a special board of trustees meeting March 20, Dr. Bauer said he has been meeting with ECC vice presidents, faculty, staff and other college representatives, as well as the presidents of other Missouri colleges and universities.

“This is consistent with what other institutions have been doing and what we all feel is the appropriate thing to do,” he said.

Trustees also approved several emergency measures that will enable ECC to take immediate action to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

There will be 10 days of paid emergency leave available to full-time employees who are unable to work because they are caring for a minor due to school and daycare closures. The leave must be approved by supervisors. The leave is in conjunction with federal emergency leave recently approved by congress.

Part-time employees will be paid up to 10 days of work that they would be scheduled if the college must close due to a pandemic.

“The sudden and unexpected nature of the pandemic has created significant economic uncertainty,” Dr. Bauer said. “This measure will provide some stability for part-time employees if we need to close for a period of time.”

Trustees also granted the ECC president the authority to close the college during an emergency. Previously the college could only be closed for holidays and inclement weather.

The ECC president also was granted the authority to enact other student or personnel policies to meet public health objectives as a result of a pandemic. The authority to enact measures would not exceed 90 days.

“These are unprecedented times. Consequently, the measures requested are extraordinary,” Dr. Bauer said. “They are proposed after a great deal of consideration and with the interests of our students, employees, and other stakeholders in mind.”

ECC will continue to update the community on the impact of COVID-19 on students and employees at Information also shared through the ECC Facebook page and Twitter.




ECC Cancels Public Events, Restaurant

March 20, 2020 | Campus News

Earlier this week, East Central College canceled public events this spring to comply with Centers for Disease Control recommendations.

ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer noted that the intent is to minimize the risk of exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The cancellations include events off and on campus. However, the decision to hold commencement will be made at a later date.

“The significant exception at this point is commencement,” he said. “A decision regarding commencement will be made no later than April 1.”

The cancellation impacts the remainder of the ECC Patrons of the Arts Series of concerts, theatrical productions, film and lectures, and art exhibits.

The upcoming play “Church and State” will be rescheduled for August 20-23.

The pops concert scheduled for May 8, while held off campus in Washington, also has been canceled. The “Restaurants at Prairie Dell” offered by the Culinary Arts Department will not be held.

Other major events that have been canceled include Earth Day, April 25; FalconFest, April 15; Phi Theta Kappa induction this Friday, March 20; ECC Library game nights; and the Senior Health Expo scheduled for May 22.

In addition, community education offerings are canceled for the remainder of the spring semester. Sports competition has been canceled by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), which includes softball at ECC.

“There may be other events not listed that involve the gathering of 50 or people at the campus. Those guidelines today have been lowered to 10 or more people,” Dr. Bauer added. “These events or gatherings will also be canceled.”

“We will continue to monitor CDC guidelines regarding public events. We will also assess events scheduled for later this spring and summer, and will make decisions about those events as early as practical.”

Dr. Bauer explained that the decision to no longer hold the events was done for health and safety of the students, faculty, staff and the community.

“I regret that our schedule of activities has been affected in such a dramatic fashion, and I appreciate all of the work that has already gone into these events,” he said. “These decisions and others are made with the well-being of our employees, students, and other stakeholders in mind.”

Food Pantry Request Form is Online; Anonymous Donation Made

March 19, 2020 | Campus News

A form is now available online for students to more easily request assistance from the food pantry at East Central College.

The pantry offers food and supplies to students in need. It is sponsored by Campus Life and Leadership.

On Thursday, an anonymous donor gifted $1,000 to purchase food and other items for the pantry. 

The new form allows students to set an appointment to visit the ECC campus food pantries in Union and Rolla.

Appointments will limit face-to-face interactions which is an effort to impede the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Previously, requests for assistance were conducted in person.

The service is only available to ECC students who must present a student ID when picking up items. There is a limit of 10 items per student, per visit.

To find the request form, students can visit and click the “Food Pantry” tab under Support Services. The form can also be found here.

Students will be asked their email address and name which will only be used for the form. No records of the pantry visit are maintained.  Students also will be asked to select a date, time, and which campus pantry they would like to visit.


Anyone who would like to donate to the pantry may contact Emily Durham at 636-584-6583 or The Learning Center also is a drop-off location if students or employees would like to make a donation.

The pantry is in need of toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, dish soap, cans of veggies, shampoo, conditioner, apple sauce/other fruit cups, pasta and Jelly.

New Student Registration Pushed Back

March 19, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College is pushing back its registration start date for new students to give current student additional time to sign up for classes.

The change also will limit the number of students on campus at the same time.

New students can begin registering for classes April 20, which is about three weeks later than the initial start date.

Registration for current students opened Monday, March 16, and it will continue after college staff returns from spring break March 30.

Because of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, spring break began early for ECC students giving fewer days to register before the break.

“This was done in order to better manage the volume of students we expect to be on campus for registration,” said Dr. Jon Bauer, ECC president. “The delay for new students gives our staff time to work with currently enrolled students for a longer period of time after spring break.”

He added that the delay will relieve initial pressure on the testing center but still provide sufficient time for new students to enroll throughout the spring and summer.

New and current students can register until Fall 2020 classes begin in August.

Advisors are encouraging students to make an appointment to be sure an advisor is available before coming to campus.

Current students should contact their advisor directly or call the appropriate Student Service Center at the Union or Rolla campuses.

New and current students also can email or call advisors with questions about ECC programs and degrees.

Technology, such as Zoom, offers the opportunity to current and prospective students to register remotely via video. Students can ask advisors for more information.

New students are those who have not taken classes at ECC, regardless if they have submitted applications or completed financial aid forms.

Visit Academic Advising for contact information for advisors, counselors and specialists.

For additional information about advisement and registration visit

Facilities Only Open to Employees and Students for Essential Services

March 18, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College facilities will only be open to employees, and students for essential services and support to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Beginning immediately, the public will not be permitted in buildings on the campuses, including the library, learning center and computer labs, said ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer.

“We are taking these measures to ensure the safety and health of our college community,” he said. “This situation is unprecedented and the decision to close the campus to the public was made with the utmost concern of students and employees.”

Dr. Bauer explained that the steps taken at ECC are under the guidance and recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

“Every decision we have made in regards to COVID-19 follows recommendations by public health officials to impede the spread of the virus,” he added.

In addition to limiting access of ECC facilities to employees and essential student services and support, the college began spring break early, on Wednesday, March 18, and is moving instruction to online and remote formats until the end of the semester.

ECC also has canceled events with the intent of minimizing the risk of exposure to the public. Canceled events include the remainder of the ECC Patrons of the Arts Series of concerts, theatrical productions, film and lectures, and art exhibits.

The “Restaurants at Prairie Dell” offered by the Culinary Arts Department also will not be held.

Off-campus events also have been canceled, like the pops concert that had been scheduled for May 8 in Washington.

Other major events that have been canceled include Phi Theta Kappa induction Friday, March 20; FalconFest, April 15; Earth Day, April 25; ECC Library game nights; and the Senior Health Expo scheduled for May 22.

Sports competition has been canceled by the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), which includes softball at ECC.

The Learning Center services are by appointment only and students are encouraged to utilize the online services.

In addition, community education offerings are canceled through May 7. That includes classes that were scheduled to be held at Mercy Hospital Washington.

A decision to hold or cancel commencement will be made by April 1.

For more information and updates on ECC’s steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19, visit

Students Should Use Learning Center Online Services

March 17, 2020 | Campus News

Students who are looking to use the East Central College Learning Center are encouraged to utilize online services.

The doors of the center will remain open, but by appointment only.

Erin Anglin, Learning Center executive director, said staff has been working diligently to transition services to an online capacity.

“While our doors will remain open for tutoring, we strongly encourage students to utilize our online services as much as possible,” she said.

According to Anglin, the center will maintain normal business hours of 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Fridays.

“We are limiting our on-ground services to appointment only, no walk-ins,” Anglin said. “We are asking students to make appointments for both on-ground and online appointments.“Scheduling appointments will help in complying with social distancing parameters and controlling traffic flow in our area.”

Anglin said tutors may be contacted in several ways for online assistance, including chat, Zoom or Teams, through the Online Writing Center or via NetTutor after hours or on weekends. NetTutor is available free of charge for ECC students.

“We have a variety of online resources available for our students via our webpage, plus we will be publishing a special edition New Leaf to help faculty and students during this time of social isolation and digital transition,” Anglin commented.

Visit the webpage at To chat, students can click on the “Chat With a Writing Tutor” or “Chat With a Math Tutor” links.

Students who want tutoring should directly email the tutor with whom they wish to work to schedule their appointment.


Message to Students on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

March 16, 2020 | Campus News

Dear Student,

March 16, 2020

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to evolve at a rapid pace. We continue to see the impact this is having both personally and professionally. East Central College takes this situation very seriously, and we are committed to making decisions with your health and wellness as the top priority. At the same time, we remain committed to your academic success. To date, no one associated with ECC has tested positive for the Coronavirus.

However, consistent with CDC guidelines, the following measures are being taken at East Central College:

Instruction—Classes will be held as scheduled today and tomorrow (March 17). Beginning Wednesday, March 18, classes will not be held in order for faculty to prepare for the transition to on-line instruction for the remainder of the semester. We will be closed as scheduled during Spring Break. Beginning on Monday, March 30, and continuing for the remainder of the semester, most instruction will be delivered on-line. There will be no in-person lectures. There will be limited in-person instruction in selected labs, studio courses, and certain career and technical education (CTE) classes for which there is no on-line equivalent. Faculty in those courses will be contacting you directly with information about the scheduling of those labs and other courses.

Campus—Unless circumstances dictate otherwise, the campus will remain open during this period of on-line instruction. Offices and other facilities will be open. Students are strongly encouraged to access services remotely as much as possible. To the extent possible, phone, e-mail, Zoom, or other technology should be used to minimize the amount of direct contact. I realize that many of you do not have access to the hardware and/or broadband necessary to work as an on-line students. Our labs and WiFi will continue to be available to students as long as the campus is open. Our goal is minimizing contact as much as possible, while providing the necessary resources for students to be able to complete the semester.

Public Events—The CDC has advised cancelling events that involve 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. We are finalizing plans today regarding campus events, and a separate communication will follow by the end of the day concerning these activities. One event that will continue to be held is the Mercy Blood Drive on April 16. We have consulted with Mercy leadership on this event, and they feel blood drives will continue to be important throughout this situation. Accordingly, this event will continue as planned.

Commencement—A decision will be made by April 1 regarding commencement, pinning ceremonies, and other end-of-semester events. These events fall outside of the 8-week window identified by the CDC. We will assess these events over the next two weeks and decide whether it is advisable for them to be held. We will keep you informed as decisions about these events are made.

Athletics—All spring competition, including softball at ECC, has been canceled by NJCAA, effective immediately. Spring competition includes all practices, regular season, postseason, and national championship play. Regarding eligibility for spring sports, no spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled at a member college in 2020 will be charged a year of participation.

I realize this is a very uncertain time. If you are concerned about these events, or how they may affect you as a student at East Central, please reach out to our counseling staff, your instructors, or others you know at the college. We are deeply committed to your well-being, and want to ensure that you are able to complete the semester in this new environment.

As other decisions are made, we will keep you informed. To repeat, classes will be held as scheduled today and tomorrow. Beginning Wednesday, March 18, through spring break, there will be no classes. When we return from spring break on March 30, instruction will be offered on-line. You will receive additional information about your work in class, and if you are in a class that will require a limited amount of on-campus work.

In closing, please remain informed about CDC guidelines intended to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus.


Nominations Sought for Outstanding Alumni

March 11, 2020 | Campus News

There are many great East Central College alumni making a difference in their communities, and throughout world.

Nominations are being sought for the 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award to recognize those former students. The award is presented by the East Central College Foundation/Alumni Office.

To be considered for the award, nominees must have completed a college credit course at ECC at some point in their educational journey.

According to Bridgette Kelch, Foundation executive director, nominees should viewed by their peers as leaders in their field, with a demonstrated commitment to community. Residency within the college district is not required.

“Our annual Outstanding Alumni award is the perfect way to recognize an alums commitment to their career and community,” Kelch said. “We know that many of our alumni are deserving of this prestigious award and are reaching out to the community for help to find those deserving individuals.”

Nominees should demonstrate outstanding contributions to ECC or the community, and nominees must have an ongoing commitment to ECC, she added.


Current candidates for public office and past recipients are not eligible for the award.

To nominate a former ECC student, write an explanation in 500 words or less as to why the person is worthy of consideration. The explanation should accompany the nomination. Nominations must be completed by Wednesday, March 25.

The nomination form can be accessed from the webpage: People also can also email or call 636-584-6506 to request the form or more information.

The recipient will be selected by the ECC Foundation Alumni Committee. A formal invitation to the 2020 Commencement will be sent to the honoree and a plaque will be displayed at ECC in his or her honor.

Previous Winners

Outstanding alumni have been recognized at ECC since 2002. Listed below are all of the previous Outstanding Alumni, where the live and their field of work.

  • 2019 outstanding alum. Dot Showe
  • 2018 Ron Unnerstall – Washington – Engineer
  • 2017 Audrey Freitag – New Haven – Nurse
  • 2016 Dave Arand – Union – Attorney
  • 2015 Anthony “Tony” Kreutz – Union – Business Admin
  • 2014 Amy Wildhaber – Beaufort – ER Dept Manager
  • 2013 Joseph Purschke – Union – Attorney at Law
  • 2012 Linda Mahon – Union – History/Educator
  • 2011 Ted Coburn – Villa Ridge – Probation & Parole
  • 2010 Ann Schroeder – Union – Political Science
  • 2009 Chris Stuckenschneider – Washington – Journalism
  • 2008 Ken Schmidt – Union – Engineering
  • 2007 Tammy Watz – Sullivan – Allied Health
  • 2007 Dr. Frank Miller – Washington – Allied Health
  • 2006 Deborah Koelling – Washington – Education
  • 2005 Chris Manhart – Union – Education
  • 2004 Tom Robertson – New Haven – Engineering/HVAC
  • 2003 John Griesheimer – Washington – Elected Official
  • 2002 Tonya Voss – Sullivan – Education