Students on the Roanoke campus
By Roanoke College News

Message from President Maxey on Fall 2020 Return to In-Person Instruction

Dear Students, Parents, Faculty and Staff,

I know these are incredibly difficult times for all of you in our extended Roanoke College community.  Each day is a struggle for many people, worrying about health, well-being and stability. It’s a time of great sacrifice and tremendous stress for everyone. I certainly hope this letter finds you, your friends, family and loved ones safe and well. 

Many of you have reached out to ask me about Roanoke College resuming on-campus instruction this fall.

I want to assure you that we are committed to resuming in-person instruction and providing a safe living and learning environment on-campus for the 2020-2021 academic year. All of us at Roanoke College are working to prepare for an on-time, on-campus start in August. 

We continue to monitor federal guidelines and work with Roanoke College health services, our incident command team, the Virginia Department of Health, and local government officials to determine future plans for returning to in-person classes safely.

We are a community that thrives on the exchange of ideas and connections between faculty and students. Ideally, our classes will be in-person this fall, and we will do all that we can to facilitate opening as planned and in that format.

We are working through different scenarios and considering the possibility that we may have to consider a later start of face-to-face classes into the fall 2020 semester, or as a last resort, continue remote instruction. I am discussing potential scenarios daily with Roanoke College leadership teams, other college presidents, and local health and government officials.

All of our decisions are made with the health and safety of our community at the forefront. Fortunately, in Salem, Virginia, we have not been hit as hard by the pandemic as so many towns and cities across the country and around the world. However, there are important guidelines we must follow to keep our community safe. We are hopeful that by August local regulations and CDC guidelines will enable us to proceed with on-campus instruction.

We are dedicated to addressing each of our students individually, and there are many implications to account for as we look toward August. Our goal is to resume classes as planned, and we anticipate that we will know much more by July 1. We are committed to updating you with more information then.

In the meantime, we will continue to share information with you as transparently and quickly as possible on our COVID-19 website and in ongoing communications.

I thank you all for your continued support.

Be well, Maroons,

President Michael C. Maxey