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Coronavirus today: Earlham College announces ‘The Pulse’ to keep campus community connected

March 27, 2020

Earlham College has launched a new website called “The Pulse” ( to keep the campus community connected during the COVID-19/novel coronavirus pandemic.

Earlham, in following state and federal action to stop the spread of COVID-19, has canceled in-person classes and college-sponsored events and travel for the remainder of the spring semester and summer terms. Effective Tuesday, March 23, employees have been required to work from home with the exception of designated, “essential personnel” responsible for maintaining campus operations, ensuring business continuity, and supporting students who have been unable to return home.

“We are experiencing unprecedented times, and keeping our community connected has never been more important,” Earlham President Anne Houtman said. “Pulse is one way we can continue to stay in touch with one another when we need it most.”

Pulse will collect news, videos, stories and photos that members of the temporarily far-flung Earlham community post to social media using the hashtag #EarlhamPulse. Campus photos and announcements will be posted there as well.

Flat Earl the Squirrel“This is a very personal and caring community that also knows how to be playful,” Houtman noted. A key component of Pulse is the debut of “Flat Earl the Squirrel,” a paper figure inspired by the campus fascination with squirrels that can be downloaded, printed and incorporated into social media posts. Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to take selfies with Earl in their new work or study area, or from other spaces in their social-distancing location, and to share other news and observations using the special hashtag.

“Given the strong affinity for squirrels here at Earlham, Earl is an emotional link to the center of campus—known as The Heart—for students, faculty, staff and alumni,” Houtman said. “Through Earl and other social media posts, we hope we can monitor the collective pulse of our community to know our faculty, staff, students and alumni are doing okay until we can reunite on campus.”

In addition to Pulse, the College will continue to share important notices and updates related to the response to COVID-19 at

“We’ve had to many make tough decisions in a very short time,” Houtman said. “The most difficult, by far, was sending students home. But in true Earlham fashion, the faculty, staff and students have pulled together to make the best of the situation, with great resolve and fortitude. I’ve never been prouder to be an Earlhamite than I am right now.”

— EC —

Earlham College, a national liberal arts college located in Richmond, Indiana, is a College That Changes Lives. We aspire to provide the highest quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences. We expect our students to think rigorously, value directness and genuineness, and actively seek insights from differing perspectives. The values we practice at Earlham are rooted in centuries of Quaker tradition, but they also constitute the ideal toolkit for contemporary success.

Princeton Review ranks Earlham in the Top 20 nationally for Best Classroom Experience, and U.S. News & World Report recognizes the College as one of 55 institutions taking pioneering approaches to serving students, and ranks EC 7th for the percentage of international students on campus, 25th for “Best Undergraduate Teaching” and 34th for “Best Value.”

Brian Zimmerman is director of media relations at Earlham College. He can be reached at 765-983-1256 and


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