March 13, 2020
Dear Students and Parents,
The situation surrounding COVID-19 remains incredibly fluid and changes day by day. In the interest of negating the potential spread of COVID-19 to our students, faculty, staff and surrounding community, I, along with the college’s senior leadership and emergency response teams, have decided to extend spring break through March 20. In addition, beginning March 23, all courses will be taught online for a period of two weeks. During this time, residence halls and campus housing will remain closed, and students are asked not to return to collect their belongings. Students who are unable to make other living arrangements, however, may be permitted to stay on campus by completing a Temporary Emergency Housing Application.
Furthermore, all varsity athletic seasons have been canceled for the spring semester. The decision to cancel varsity athletics, albeit difficult, was made in part as a result of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference’s decision to halt all conference contests for the remainder of the semester. Similarly, all college-sanctioned travel – whether domestic or international – has been canceled for the remainder of the academic school year.
I want to stress that there have been no confirmed or presumed cases of COVID-19 at Colby-Sawyer College or within Merrimack County. However, with the health and wellbeing of the campus community as our top priority, we feel it necessary to implement these precautionary steps. I sincerely regret this disruption to our usual spring calendar, especially in regards to the many talented seniors who will soon be saying goodbye to campus with commencement only eight weeks away. We truly believe that taking these steps is necessary in fulfilling our obligation of best ensuring the safety of our students, faculty and staff.
We will continue to provide regular updates in the weeks ahead, and it is our sincere hope that we will reopen campus to regular operations the weekend of April 4-5. The college remains in close contact with both local and state health officials, and I can assure you that all future decisions will be made in the best interest of our campus community. We appreciate your patience as we all cope with the anxieties and uncertainties that have come as a result of COVID-19.
Susan D. Stuebner, Ed.D.
President and Professor of Social Sciences and Education