April 7 Community Update from President Hanno

Dear Wheaton Community,
The sun is shining at Wheaton on a warm early spring day. I hope wherever you are there is some light and warmth in your day, too. It will be much brighter and warmer here when we can all get back together again, which I hope is much sooner rather than later.

We continue to make adjustments on a daily basis here at Wheaton to react to the evolving COVID-19 situation. With the extension of state and federal social distancing guidelines until May 4, the need for most employees to continue working remotely will likely extend into May. As we continue to do our best to support all members of our community during these unsettling times, Wheaton has extended our previous commitment to continue full pay for all permanent employees of the college, no matter what their work situation, through June 30. Student room and board credits for this semester have already been made and refund requests will be completed over the next few weeks. These actions and several others related to this pandemic have had a significant financial impact on the college and we have begun to look at what steps we will have to take to confront this challenge.

With the circumstances and projections being what they are, we cannot reasonably expect the restrictions on face-to-face academic delivery to ease before the start of our summer session (May 19). As a result, the decision has been made to deliver all summer session courses remotely, too. This may result in some additions and deletions to the summer course schedule, so please watch for more information on this soon.

I urge every member of the community to continue to practice social distancing. The best way for us all to help decrease our risk of exposure and to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to continue to minimize the number of interactions we have with others. The CDC’s updated guidance also recommends covering your face with a fabric mask when you do have to venture into public areas. Your health and safety matters more than anything at this time, and I hope you will continue to follow these guidelines.

As always, I am grateful for your continued support, cooperation and resiliency during these difficult times. Stay well and keep your spirits high. We will get through this together.

Dennis Hanno
Wheaton College