Ohio’s Urbana University will not re-open campus after the COVID-19 pandemic resolves, the school announced Tuesday. The private university closed all residence halls, moved to online learning, and canceled all remaining athletic events for the semester on March 12.
Urbana is a branch campus of Franklin University, which primarily serves an online student population and is headquartered in Columbus. The school, which has an enrollment of 1,254 for the 2019-20 school year, was founded in 1850 and acquired by Franklin in 2014.
“As a result of this decision, academic programming will be moved to Franklin University, while athletic offerings and on-site administrative roles will cease at the Urbana branch campus,” the school said in a news release.
Urbana’s Division II athletics program included a men’s and women’s swim team. Led by head coach Cassandra Wendall, the 2019-20 squad featured eight women and six men; Wendall was in her first full season with the team. The Knights finished ninth at the 2020 Great Midwest & Mountain East Conference Championships.
The school also hosts men’s teams in basketball, baseball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, volleyball and wrestling, as well as women’s teams in acrobatics & tumbling, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, lacrosse, softball, volleyball and water polo.
The news came shortly before the College Swimming Coaches Association of America tweeted that “COVID-19 has claimed its first two swim teams.” It’s not clear at this point which teams the tweet was referencing – but presumably, Urbana is one of them.