Published: May 6, 2020
To the Thomas College Community,
As part of our ongoing effort to keep the Thomas College community up to date on our plans for the fall, I wanted to share our latest press release with all of you before it goes live.
The release today provides additional details on our plans to bring all of our students, staff, and faculty back to campus this fall. It also highlights some of the changes we are making that will put the health and safety of each of you first this fall.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thomas College Charts Course to Return Students to Campus This Fall
WATERVILLE, MAINE, May 6, 2020 – Thomas College provided additional details today on its comprehensive plans to bring its students back to campus for the fall semester in late August.
“We’ve been working with hospitals and other colleges in the area to plan how we can safely bring our students back to the college experience they know and love,” said Thomas College President Laurie G. Lachance. “Our top priority is the safety of our students and community. We will follow local, state, and federal guidelines to ensure their safety.”
Thomas College has been participating in a coalition of community leaders in central Maine to explore protocols to jointly and safely reopen area campuses that will safeguard the health and safety of every student, faculty member, and staff person. Included in this effort are government officials, the early childhood and K-12 systems, and representatives from community services and safety agencies. Thomas has also been working directly with our local hospitals, MaineGeneral Medical Center and Northern Light Inland Hospital, as well as Colby and the other eight private colleges in Maine, in order to have access to the most relevant and timely information possible.
“We know that reopening this fall will look much different than any year before,” said Vice President of Student Affairs Lisa Desautels-Poliquin. “Following safety guidelines is crucial, and that will have an impact on how we work and interact academically in our classrooms and administrative buildings, how we play with student activities, sports, and clubs, and how we rest, recharge, and stay healthy using our on-site health center and counseling services, dining facilities, and residence halls. We are working tirelessly to plan for reopening safely.”
The College will be taking steps to minimize risk of exposure whenever possible. These include focusing on class size and location, flexibility in academic delivery, prevention cleaning and increased access to hand sanitizer dispensers, evaluating housing capacity and population density, mandatory training and education for all faculty, staff, and students, and occupancy limits to common spaces.
Thomas College has worked diligently to protect the health and safety of its students, faculty, and staff, closing its campus in early March and transitioning to online learning for its students and faculty, and providing virtual student services and engagement opportunities.
With deep respect, gratitude, and hope,
Laurie G. Lachance