President Alison Byerly sent the message below to the campus community Sunday, March 13. Also sent to parents, it is the latest in a series of communications keeping the campus and parents informed about the virus that has impacted the College.

I am pleased that we will be resuming the normal business of the College tomorrow as planned. Cancelling classes is not an action we take lightly – Hurricane Sandy was the only other event to cause cancellation of classes within the past several decades—but allowing hundreds of students to depart for a long weekend away gave us the needed opportunity to recover and regroup. As Dr. Goldstein reports, the effects have been very positive.

Even members of the community who did not become ill have been affected by this outbreak, and I am grateful to all of you for your understanding and cooperation during this trying time. We appreciate the efforts of faculty who rescheduled exams and assignments, and worked with individual students to accommodate absences. Administrators and staff acted quickly to implement cancellations that affected campus visitors. We recognize that many students were disappointed by the need to reschedule or forgo long-planned activities, lectures, performances and athletic competitions. We very much appreciate everyone’s understanding that these sacrifices contributed to a faster recovery for the entire community.

I’d like to extend a special thank you to our tireless campus physician, Dr. Jeff Goldstein; our many colleagues in Facilities who have been hard at work throughout this entire period, keeping the campus clean and safe for all; Dining Services for the prompt and appropriate measures taken to ensure safe and effective service options; and Campus Life for their robust and relentless attention to the well-being of the student body. There are many more who do not appear in this list and, while I may not have named you, please know that I am well aware of your extraordinary efforts on behalf of our community.

Most events this week will be held as scheduled, but please check the College calendar on the website for updated information on rescheduled events. Also, I encourage you to visit the Bailey Health Center’s special page devoted to the norovirus outbreak. There you will find much more detailed information about the steps taken over the weekend and throughout to protect our campus and community, a memo from the Provost on issues related to the academic program, and sound medical advice on continued precautionary measures.  It is important that we do not relax our vigilance, as we are not out of the woods yet.

One of the true measures of the strength of a community is how well it functions under stress, and while the last week has certainly been a difficult one, I could not be more proud of the way in which every part of our community responded.

I look forward to seeing you back on campus tomorrow.

President Alison Byerly