Dear Marietta College Family:
I have said it many times, but I feel it is worth saying again. I am so proud of what the Marietta College family accomplished this spring as we pulled together as a team and navigated a tumultuous semester. I have received overwhelming feedback and have monitored what other colleges and universities across the region and nation have done, and I can attest to the fact that we accomplished this feat with an efficiency that rivals any other college or university in the nation.
We were able to do this because of each and every one of you.
It is because of my faith in our outstanding students and employees that I am excited to announce that we plan to open for in-person learning this fall at Marietta College. That’s right, we will be open in the fall with students and faculty in classrooms. We also expect our residence halls will be full of students, especially as our Admission team continues to build a strong incoming class. You may be asking, “Does that mean everything will be the same as in the past?” It is not likely.
We are living in unpredictable times, and our plans must be nimble and adaptable as we return to in-person education. Throughout the summer months, the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force will monitor local and national health trends and make adjustments as warranted. Also, the College will conduct business with a focus on public safety brought about by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.
We know there are still a lot of unknowns and we cannot answer every question you may have today, but be assured that we will make sound decisions based on well-informed science. We believe that by fall that the science and data will be better, and as a college, we will be able to better equip our community with the tools needed to provide personal protection.
Our goal is that every class will be taught in-person, but we are also looking at alternatives that could allow for a blended approach of in-person learning and remote. Also, the traditional classroom that all of us have known for most of our lives will look different as the need for physical distancing is still important.
To achieve our goals and make sure we can safely reopen campus in the fall, our recovery plan must be a comprehensive organizational approach. We will look to Academic Affairs to quickly develop recommendations for conducting in-person classes, but we also expect they will look to others on campus for help executing those recommendations.
And as we take these steps to reopen this fall, we will continue to do so from a standpoint of safety. Without an effective vaccine, there will be some in our community who are vulnerable to COVID-19. Some faculty members may not be able to physically teach in a classroom. Some students may not be able to risk attending classes in person. As we make our plans for fall, we will take these considerations into account to help ensure the success and safety of everyone in our community.
As many of you know, Marietta College continued to keep our residential halls open for those students who needed to remain on campus this spring. This has provided invaluable experience on how to create the necessary distancing and safely serve these students. Our residence halls will be open in the fall, and we look forward to welcoming our students.
We will also gain some valuable insight when we welcome 36 new Physician Assistant students to campus in June.
The closing of campus this spring happened quickly and with little warning. When we re-open this fall, it will be more complex and executed with precision. To do this, we will spend the next three months planning on contingencies and seeking out ideas from our highly talented team members.
It almost seems trite to say, but we are blazing new trails at Marietta College and we will find a way to thrive during these trying times.