Dear Members of the Welch College Community,
These have been trying times for colleges and universities. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced restrictions and difficulties that have made it impossible for higher education institutions to continue normal operations.
I am happy to say that our students, faculty, and staff at Welch College have made it easy for us to meet our goal to make it to the end of the academic year under COVID-19. Their generous and cooperative spirit has made a difficult situation much more tolerable, and for that we are thankful.
However, we are all ready to move to normalcy. Our leadership at Welch believes that the increasingly high vaccination rate, especially of those who are most vulnerable, combined with the decline in the number of individuals in our region who are contracting the virus or experiencing complications from it, justifies our return to a pre-COVID normalcy this summer and fall.
All summer courses will be online. However, staff will be back to a full work schedule on campus this summer and will not have to wear masks, socially distance, or complete their daily online health survey.
Unless we see new developments with the Coronavirus between now and when we begin classes in mid-August, our plan is to open the fall semester at full, normal capacity, with no masks and social distancing. We are planning for full-capacity classes, chapel, arts and athletic events, and other gatherings. Students, faculty, and staff will be encouraged, but not required, to be vaccinated. Under this plan, members of the campus community will no longer be required to fill out their daily online health survey.
Another step we have taken to ease the transition back to campus—especially for many of our students and prospective students whose families’ financial situations have been affected by the pandemic—is to freeze tuition, room, and board costs. Last year we froze student costs to attend Welch, and next year those costs will remain at 2019 levels.
We look forward to a vibrant Fall semester as Welch College gets back to normal, and we look forward to having you with us in this Christian community of faith and learning.