Students react with heavy hearts to Grace University closing

Students react with heavy hearts to Grace University closing

Just six short weeks into her college career, freshman Katie Bartsch now faces a crossroads.

Her Christian School, Grace University in Omaha, will close in its 75th year of academic service to the community.

"It's going to be hard. It is very hard. I've cried a lot today," said Bartsch. "Yeah, I'm going to miss it each of the little places I already have memories in my heart."

School administration made the announcement to faculty, staff and students Tuesday morning. Many people with ties to the university are now trying to put their emotions into words.

"Definitely shock," said Brian Schmidt, a sophomore at the school. "I did not see this coming. I really thought Grace was going to pull through."

"One day you knew what you're going to do, and now you have to figure out a whole new plan for the next few years," said junior Marisa Brown.

School officials blame the closure on student enrollment numbers.

"If 85 would have come, we wouldn't be talking today, said Bill Bauhard, the CEO of Grace University. "We would be in a position going through the school year working toward a move to Blair."

He said only 33 freshman students enrolled this year, ultimately sealing the fate of the school.

"It's really disappointing and heart breaking to hear especially after devoting my life here," said senior Colby Sticka, "for being here for nine months out the year for four years."

School administration says May 2018 is when the school will officially close its doors.

It will work with surrounding colleges and universities to help students transfer their credits and get situated at another school.

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