Office of the President

Tue, Mar 10, 4:00 PM

Dear Students, Faculty and Professional Staff,

The COVID-19 virus continues to spread in the United States and in various countries around the world. To date we have no confirmed cases at Franklin & Marshall, and despite nearly constant coverage in the media and intense work being conducted by the world’s medical research community, there is little concrete information available about the impact it ultimately could have on our area of Pennsylvania or on our campus. It is safe to assume, however, that with continued spread of the virus and increased availability of testing kits, we will see a rise in the number of confirmed cases locally and globally. Earlier this week, health officials announced that “we are past the point of containment” and highlighted the importance of working to mitigate the effects of the virus.

In light of those circumstances, we are making decisions for the health and safety of our community out of an abundance of caution, and we are rolling out that information as quickly as possible.

Today, I am writing to announce that we have made the difficult decision to cancel all College-sponsored travel for faculty, professional staff and students through at least March 31. This directive, similar to policies enacted by some of our peer institutions in recent days, cancels all travel for F&M’s athletic teams, artistic groups, academic cohorts, conference participation, and staff initiatives, such as employee travel for Admission and Advancement, through the end of this month.

Similarly, we are canceling several events hosted by the College that were to bring large numbers of the public to our campus, including this week’s high school swim meet in the Alumni Sports and Fitness Center and several smaller professional gatherings.

Thursday’s Common Hour will be held as scheduled in Mayser Gymnasium, but we are requesting that anyone from outside the campus community not attend. Please note that this event will be video recorded and posted within 48 hours on the Common Hour Event Archive page, so you will be able to see the event without having to attend in person.

More information is coming. This situation continues to unfold, and these circumstances are unprecedented. We are closely monitoring government and health advisories and taking them into account as we determine the best courses of action for our college community. I will send another message tomorrow to address any additional steps we may be taking that would have an impact on the remainder of the semester. I encourage you to visit our dedicated webpage frequently for the latest updates.

Thank you for your patience, your suggestions, your help, and your resilience as we all rise to the challenge of an unprecedented situation.

Barbara Altmann

Barbara K. Altmann, Ph.D.
President and Professor of French
Franklin & Marshall College
Lancaster, PA