W&L Campus Remains Open: March 11, 2020

To: The W&L Community
From: Sidney Evans, Marc Conner and Mary Main

As the number of cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to increase in the United States and abroad, we are aware that many colleges are extending spring breaks, suspending on-campus classes or transitioning to online course delivery. We are writing with an update on W&L's current plan for Winter and Spring Term:

  • W&L is continuing to offer classes on campus, and we hope to finish the academic year as usual. Based on guidance from the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control at this time, we believe this is in the best interest of our students.
  • Our students returned from their February break on March 2. Classes have been underway for 10 days, and there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 on the W&L campus or in the surrounding community.

Small classes and personal instruction are the hallmark of a W&L education, and we will make every reasonable effort to sustain them, but the safety of our community is our highest priority. We will continue to attend to the daily guidance of the public health authorities and to prepare for the possibility that we will need to make future adjustments to our plans.

While our classes proceed as planned, there are several updates to report since our last communication to the community on Monday.

What's Changed?

  • A number of Spring Term Abroad courses have been canceled, and we foresee additional cancellations in the coming days. We are actively monitoring the evolving situation abroad and conferring with faculty regarding the potential impact on their courses. Students in canceled courses will be notified by their faculty members. We are working with students and faculty in each program to help affected students register for an alternative Spring Term course and resolve the financial implications of these cancellations. Additional information will be added to the Spring Term Abroad website as it becomes available.
  • Student athletes are still permitted to participate in athletic events in accordance with guidance from the NCAA and ODAC. Our Athletics department is in contact with these organizations and we will communicate any changes to athletic schedules as they become available.
  • Many scheduled events on campus have been canceled or postponed as other states and institutions issue their own guidance regarding travel. We encourage event planners to update the campus calendar with the most current information and contact the Office of Communications and Public Affairs for assistance in publicizing these changes.

Important Reminders

  • The safety of our community, and our ability to continue to offer classes on campus, is a collective endeavor. We cannot stress enough the importance of the community effort to safeguard against the spread of this disease. We continue to provide additional cleaning cycles in high-traffic areas and to encourage our students, faculty and staff to be informed about the symptoms and spread of COVID-19. Good respiratory etiquette and preventative measures are essential, as is prudence with regard to personal travel and visitors to campus. We strongly recommend that students, faculty and staff remain attuned to the changing situation and carefully consider any nonessential travel or plans to host visitors from outside the area.
  • Please read all official communications from the university and follow the guidance from state and national health organizations carefully. This is a rapidly evolving situation and circumstances may change daily.

We will continue to issue community updates each Monday afternoon, and more frequently if needed. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us:

Sidney Evans, Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students (sevans@wlu.edu)
Marc Conner, Provost (connerm@wlu.edu)
Mary Main, Executive Director of Human Resources (mmain@wlu.edu)