Community Update on COVID-19
Dear Marlboro Community,
I hope that this finds you and you and your loved ones healthy and doing well in these very turbulent and trying times.
Today, students and faculty were scheduled to return from Spring Break. In any other year, once students are back on campus from Spring break, now is the time we normally start the annual frenzied, exhilarating and always fascinating race to finish the semester. Besides the annual arrival of spring on campus after a long winter, witnessing the flowering of Senior 2s plan work leading up to Commencement in mid-May is one of the great joys of being a part of the Marlboro Community.
Here on Potash Hill, like so much of our world, the COVID-19 pandemic has transmogrified our world in ways that are almost unrecognizable. In response to guidelines from the CDC, some of the changes we have made in these last few weeks include:
On March 11, we informed our students that we would move our academic program on-line beginning March 29.
On March 13, we announced that Senior 2s and others who were staying on campus to complete their plans would only be able to stay until March 22.
On March 19, most staff began to work remotely.
On March 25, Vermont Governor Phil Scott ordered all non-emergency, non-essential individuals to stay at home.
On March 28, we held a special board meeting to discuss the College’s response to the pandemic and provide an update on negotiations to forge the Alliance with Emerson—which are on track and on deadline.
There certainly will be other steps that we will be taking in the days, weeks and months ahead. One major decision yet to be made is regarding Commencement. While I have written that Commencement will not take place as traditionally scheduled in mid-May, we are committed to holding a final Commencement to honor the accomplishments of our graduating students. What form that takes and when that occurs, we will be letting you know in the weeks ahead.
We all understand how disruptive these events have been. We also know that we are still in the early stages of a global health crisis unlike anything seen in the last century and that the economic and social impacts will likely last for several months, if not years. In writing about another tumultuous time, E. M. Forester wrote, “We are in a momentous, meaningful moment—make the most of it.”
It is my sincere hope that despite all the challenges that the Alliance with Emerson coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic pose to our community, we respond by learning all we can, being extraordinarily kind to others and exemplifying the very best of Marlboro’s spirit of resilience and creativity.
With gratitude and warm regards,
Kevin F. F. Quigley