Wells College says fall semester will happen with students on-campus

This week Wells College announced that it would move forward with plans to reopen in the fall for on-campus instruction.

Marie Chapman Carroll ’75, chair of the College’s Board of Trustees, and President Jonathan Gibralter shared the good news with the campus community this morning via a live video broadcast and follow-up email message.

“Thanks to the efforts of more than 1,500 alumnae and alumni; President Gibralter and his team; our dedicated faculty and staff; the Bell Tower Committee; and friends of the College, we have the opportunity today to move forward,” Carroll said. “There are many challenges ahead but I am thankful to continue this journey knowing that we will face them together.” She also noted that the trustees had voted on Wednesday, July 8 to approve the College’s operating budget for the 2020-2021 year.

“Through inspired and truly unprecedented generosity; better-than-anticipated enrollment; and a very generous zero-interest bridge loan from an anonymous foundation, we now have the confidence to continue our drive toward our $7.5 million financial goal, and to push ahead with the opening of the College for residential instruction this fall,” President Gibralter told students, faculty and staff this morning.

“None of this could have been possible without the financial, emotional and strategic support from alumnae and alumni, faculty and staff, parents and the entire Wells community. Thank you — thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And to our students and your families, I want you to know that we had you all in our hearts every step of the way along this journey. Your confidence in Wells is what has kept us focused . . . the entire Wells community really looks forward to welcoming you back to campus,” he added.

President Gibralter noted that classes for the fall semester are scheduled to begin Aug. 31, and said that more details would be sent to the campus community by the end of this week.

Since mid-March, the College’s COVID-19 Response Team has been meeting regularly to plan how students, faculty and staff can return to campus this fall in a way that protects their health and safety. The campus was reopened to essential staff on June 29 after Gov. Cuomo authorized the Central New York region to proceed to “Phase 2” of the state’s reopening plan.

“Please remember: this is just the beginning in the latest chapter of Wells’ history,” President Gibralter told students, faculty and staff. “We know you have questions, and we will have answers — and we commit to sharing them in the days and weeks ahead.”