August 28, 2020

Centenary’s Director of Health Services Affirms Freshman Daughter’s Decision to Live on Campus

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J., Aug. 28, 2020—Theresa A. Lord-Stout knows a little about the anxiety parents feel as their children return to college campuses for a fall semester very much shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, she’s confident in her freshman daughter’s decision to enroll at Centenary University—and to live on campus. That’s because Lord-Stout is the University’s director of health services and has spent much of the summer helping to carefully plan Centenary’s safety protocols for reopening.

“I’m confident that the University has done its due diligence in putting protective measures in place,” she explained. “There are no guarantees that everything will be 100 percent fine, but we’ve done as much as we possibly can. Now, it’s incumbent upon the students and employees of the University to do the things we’re asking them to do.”

Centenary begins classes on Monday, Aug. 31, guided by a flexible reopening plan combining on-ground, online, and HyFlex course options that maximize social distancing and safety in classrooms, residence halls, and dining halls, in accordance with a recent executive order issued by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy allowing in-person instruction at the state’s colleges and universities. In addition, social distancing will be introduced to student activities as much as possible to enhance student safety.

Family ties at Centenary run deep in Lord-Stout’s family. Her daughter, Kate, is the third generation in the family to attend the University. Kate’s late grandmother, Virginia Arnold Stout, was a 1950 graduate, as were her great-grandmother, Edythe Jackson Hankinson (Class of 1915), and her great-great-aunt, Minnie Jackson (Class of 1913). Growing up in Hackettstown, Kate loved to attend Centenary sporting events with her late grandfather, Jim Lord, Jr., a beloved van driver for the University’s equestrian center for many years.

Despite the strong family connection, Centenary’s excellent education program ultimately clinched Kate’s decision to attend the University. “Centenary has a great education program,” said Kate, a future teacher who plans to play on the Centenary University Cyclones softball team. “A lot of my former teachers are graduates and told me about the benefits of attending Centenary.”

To reinforce the safety measures put into place as a result of the pandemic, Kate and her fellow students—as well as Centenary’s employees—signed a Cyclone Pledge, agreeing to adhere to new regulations on social distancing, wearing face masks, using a Campus Clear app daily to track health symptoms, wiping down personal spaces, and not congregating in large numbers.

“My husband and I wanted Kate to have the full college experience living on campus and becoming immersed in campus life,” said Lord-Stout, who has had several conversations with her daughter to reinforce on-campus safety in a COVID-19 world. “I’m confident in my daughter’s ability to follow the University’s COVID-19 safety policies—she’s a smart, conscientious student.”


Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary University’s academic program integrates a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix provides an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. The University’s main campus is located in Hackettstown, N.J., with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary University School of Professional Studies offers degree programs in Parsippany, as well as online and at corporate sites throughout New Jersey.

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