Heritage returns to in-person instruction this fall
A year and a half after Heritage moved to remote learning and working in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, students, faculty and staff are returning to the campus.
Faculty and staff return to working on campus starting August 2 with students arriving at the start of the semester on August 24.
“The biggest responsibility we have as an administration is to assure that we can provide a safe environment for everyone to work and study at Heritage,” said Sund.
He stressed that Heritage is doing every they can to meet that responsibility, maintaining all pandemic precautions, including mask-wearing inside buildings, social distancing, and enhanced cleaning protocols. Additionally, the university requires all faculty, staff and students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“This decision follows vaccination recommendations by the Yakima County Health District, the State of Washington, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” said Sund. “Overwhelming scientific evidence shows that vaccines are effective and safe, and failure to require vaccinations would legally and ethically constitute a direct threat to the safety of staff, faculty, and students.”
Exceptions to the vaccination requirement will be made for people who have medical conditions, religious beliefs, or extenuating circumstances that prevent them from being vaccinated. Sund also said reasonable accommodations would be made for people who fall into those categories. The university will collect vaccination information and proceed with enforcement of the vaccination policy.
Sund stresses that the university is working closely with Yakima County Health District in its safe opening planning. Changes to the progress being made to tackle the pandemic locally and throughout the state of Washington could force the university to change its course of direction. For the most recent information on Heritage’s COVID-19 response, visit heritage.edu/COVID.
Online tool available to assist with planned giving
Individuals interested in learning more about planned giving have an informative new tool available to them 24 hours a day to help them get started. Heritage University recently launched its planned giving website, mylegacy.heritage.edu.
“Planned giving is something that people at a wide range of income levels can and should consider,” said Mary Bohmke, Heritage major gifts officer. “There are many different ways that you can attend to causes that you care about in your estate plans that don’t require you to be a multimillionaire.”
The website includes helpful information on a wide array of ways to give, as well as information on wills and personal stories from some of Heritage’s supporters. Readers can also sign up to receive a free estate planning guide or sign up for a weekly e-newsletter.
Campus mourns loss of alumna, friend, colleague and mentor
Heritage alum and staff member Laura Aguiar Garibay passed away on June 9, 2021, following a long illness. She was the Assistant Director of Financial Aid and graduated from Heritage in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. As a student, she was the definition of a student leader. She was active
in the Associated Student Body (ASB), serving two terms as the president, where she led the restructuring of the ASB into the more formal Student Government Association. She was an advocate for education, lending her voice to recruiting and fundraising efforts to raise awareness for the need for accessible higher education and scholarships. Aguiar Garibay was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and the undergraduate student speaker who voiced her classmates’ desire for equity.
Aguiar Garibay was passionate about helping access higher education. She understood firsthand the challenges that undocumented
students face in earning their college degrees. After graduation, she joined the Heritage University staff, working in the financial aid office to help students access higher education. She was so dedicated to students that she worked from her hospital bed until shortly before her passing. She also continued her advocacy for undocumented students, sharing her story nationally in many publications, including the New York Times.
Laura is survived by her wife Crystal, whom she met at Heritage; her mother Antonia Garibay Hernandez and father Lugerio Aguiar Hernandez; her sisters Maria Del Carmen Aguiar, Sofia Aguiar, and Evelyn Aguiar; brothers Javier Alejandro Aguiar and Raul David Aguiar; and many nieces and nephews. Her family requested contributions be made to the scholarship fund established in her memory at Heritage University in lieu of flowers.