Westminster College announces plans to reopen campus for fall semester

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NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.-- Westminster College plans to resume in-person instruction and residence life for the fall 2020 semester while seeking to protect the health and safety of its students, employees and visitors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

College officials made the announcement on Thursday, the day before Lawrence County enters the green phase—the least-restrictive phase of Pennsylvania’s reopening plan for the COVID-19 pandemic. 

College administrators, faculty and staff are designing policies and practices needed to ensure a safe return to campus .

“We are committed to bringing our students back to campus this fall, with great care. To achieve that, we are developing plans to ensure we comply with federal and state health and safety guidelines,” said Westminster President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson.

The College is currently examining curriculum adjustments and safety protocols that need to be made to academic instruction, residence life, dining services, athletics, campus activities and arts and culture events.  The adjustments will focus on ways to allieviate the spread of the virus.

“We plan to share more specific details in the coming weeks, but we wanted to communicate our commitment to reopening our campus and welcoming students this fall,” Richardson said. “We will do our utmost to provide students with the richly engaging, collaborative experiences that have been the hallmark of a Westminster education since 1852.”

The College moved to online instruction on March 19. The Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) announced the cancellation of all spring sports on April 3. Competition this fall will be determined by PAC guidelines.

Anticipating that some students and their families might face financial uncertainty caused by the pandemic, Westminster launched a special fundraising effort—Bring Back the Titans—to help students return to Westminster in the fall. To date, over $1,450,000 has been raised, thanks in large part to matching donations from the May Emma Hoyt Foundation.

Pennsylvania greenlighted the construction industry to resume operations on May 1, and campus projects such as the Hoyt Science Center expansion and the construction of new soccer/lacrosse, baseball and softball fields are currently under way.

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