April 14 Community Update from President Hanno

Dear Wheaton Community,

Yesterday was certainly one of those days. Already feeling isolated because of the pandemic, a huge storm hit the Wheaton campus, knocking out power and creating an even greater sense of isolation and a big concern about physical damage to the campus. I’m sure like you, I found myself asking, “What next?” more than once during the day. Fortunately, the campus weathered the storm quite successfully and today is perhaps the most beautiful day of the spring thus far. Again, I’m sure like you, I am hoping that this is a harbinger of brighter days to come for us all on several fronts.

The past few weeks for me have been filled with conversation after conversation about the transitions that each of us, and the college, has had to endure. Today, several of my conversations have been much more forward-looking. With course-registration and housing selection underway, these conversations have brought some level of comfort that we may be able to get back to something resembling normal – hopefully sometime soon. We all know that there are many unanswered questions about the future that could have an impact on each of us and the college. Like colleges and universities across the country, we are actively planning for a variety of scenarios for the fall. Right now our full expectation is that we will all be back here on campus for the first day of classes on September 1, but we will be prepared to react if we are prevented from doing that. As time passes and more guidance is provided by government and health officials, we’ll continue to evaluate the situation and keep you informed.

Also on the forward looking front, several new classes have been added to the course schedule for summer session. All summer courses will be offered remote, providing you with a great opportunity to catch-up or get ahead no matter where you are. Be sure to check out some of the exciting new offerings that have been added.

I hope you will continue to seek ways to connect with our community and to take advantage of some of the great programming that is still happening, albeit remotely. For example, I encourage you to attend our virtual celebration of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment and Women’s Suffrage that will be taking place on Thursday evening, April 16, at 7 PM. More information about the event and a link to register to attend (which is required) can be found online. I look forward to seeing many of you participating in this virtual experience.

I wish you and your family safety and health.

Dennis Hanno
Wheaton College