Dear Members of the Anna Maria College Community:
As Anna Maria College begins the celebration of our 75th anniversary, we can look at the determination of the Sisters of St. Anne and all those along the way who supported the College’s mission, as examples of the spirit of innovation and commitment that has led to Anna Maria’s success. No greater time in our history has this collaborative effort been more evident than the recent challenge presented by COVID-19 and our dedication in serving our students with the best educational experience possible.
Since March 2020, the shift from on-ground to remote learning was unprecedented and allowed our students to continue their semester and finish the year as intended, but not without hardship. The work continues now that the spring semester is over and we plan for repopulating for the fall with the focus on delivering the educational promise all students were given when they enrolled. This involves quality academic, social, leadership, and athletic components that are all a part of the fabric of the Anna Maria education. Beginning this fall, classes will be delivered in multiple ways including face-to face, hybrid and online instruction – keeping the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and administrators at the center of decisions. We will be advised by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the state of Massachusetts, local public health officials, and higher education organizations that offer sound research and best practices for serving our students.
The uncertainty that we all face in these most difficult times does not deter us from our mission and our values that are, frankly, needed now more than ever. Facing unprecedented times makes us more determined to continue delivering the education that has always been our hallmark – serving students who serve others. It is imperative we do not lose our momentum in producing the graduates who will make the difference in our society dealing with the very issues that plague us today – whether they be natural or social challenges –while in keeping with the founding principles of the Sisters of St. Anne.
Anna Maria College will begin the fall 2020 semester on campus in August under the conditions established by CDC, the state of Massachusetts and local public health officials. The issues of testing, precautions such as facemasks and enhanced cleaning of residence halls and campus facilities, and social distancing are being planned for the return of all students, faculty, staff and administrators. The courses are being designed through a hybrid approach, combining face-to-face instruction with online methods for adaptability of small class sizes and with the understanding that as we continue monitoring the pandemic, some may not be able to attend classes in person and will still be able to join the class remotely. It is the intent to complete the fall semester prior to Thanksgiving to mitigate further outbreaks of the pandemic and disruption of the semester as we experienced this spring.
Specific details and updates will be communicated throughout the summer as we continue to complete the necessary work to ensure our students a safe and secure return to campus in August. Town Hall meetings, written communication, and the College’s website will be used throughout the summer to keep everyone informed of this ever-changing situation.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I wish you continued good health and thank you for your support and interest in making Anna Maria College “Something Greater”!
Mary Lou Retelle