Posted on Thursday, May 28, 2020
Westminster College plans to resume in-person instruction and residence life for the fall 2020 semester while seeking to protect the health and safety of its students, employees and visitors amid the coronavirus pandemic.
With Lawrence County entering the green phase—the least-restrictive phase of Pennsylvania’s reopening plan—on Friday, May 29, College administrators, faculty and staff are developing policies and practices necessary to ensure a safe return to campus while continuing the College’s 168 years of academic excellence and robust campus life experience.
“We are committed to bringing our students back to campus this fall, with great care. To achieve that, we are developing plans to comply with federal and state health and safety guidelines,” said Westminster President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson.
To mitigate the spread of the virus, the College is currently examining curriculum adjustments and safety protocols that need to be made to academic instruction, residence life, dining services, athletics, campus activities and arts and culture events.
“We plan to share more specific details in the coming weeks, but we wanted to communicate our commitment to reopening our campus and welcoming students this fall,” Richardson said. “We will do our utmost to provide students with the richly engaging, collaborative experiences that have been the hallmark of a Westminster education since 1852.”
The College shifted exclusively to online instruction on March 19. The Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) announced the cancellation of all spring sports on April 3. Competition this fall will be determined by PAC guidelines.
Anticipating that some students and their families might face financial uncertainty caused by the pandemic, Westminster launched a special fundraising effort—Bring Back the Titans—to help students return to Westminster in the fall. To date, over $1,450,000 has been raised, thanks in large part to matching donations from the May Emma Hoyt Foundation.
Pennsylvania greenlighted the construction industry to resume operations on May 1, and campus projects such as the Hoyt Science Center expansion and the construction of new soccer/lacrosse, baseball and softball fields are currently under way.