Past Updates and Community Messages

Update from May 29, 2020

From President Lorraine Sterritt

Dear Saint Michael’s Community,

I hope this email finds you and your loved ones safe and well.

We very much look forward to our return to in-person instruction and operations so that we can continue our crucial mission of educating our students and equipping them for the future. As we plan for returning to campus and welcoming our students, faculty, and staff to begin the fall semester, we will be communicating important information that will help everyone to prepare. I am writing today to let you know about progress we are making on important decisions and likely arrangements for returning to campus.

Earlier this spring, we organized cross-discipline working groups that include faculty, co-academic staff, and experts from The Bergeron Wellness Center, Public Safety, and many other areas across campus. They are spending untold hours meeting virtually to identify the issues, work on solutions, and provide recommendations to the Emergency Management Team and the Executive Policy Group. Their recommendations consider the latest information from health agencies and the Governor’s office, as well as information shared among peer institutions. Our priority with this work is to be prepared to provide for the safety of the community, while ensuring the quality and richness of our students’ experience as we continue to fulfill our mission of educating the next generation of great thinkers and leaders.

Based on the advice of many experts, an important aspect of conducting in-person teaching and learning on campus this fall will be to endeavor to establish a COVID-free community at the outset and then maintain the community’s health by minimizing and carefully managing the interactions members of the community have with individuals outside our community. Risk increases when large numbers of students leave a contained, managed campus environment to go to their home communities and then return, interact with one another, and again return to their home communities, especially at the outset of the typical flu season. Therefore, subject to approval from authorities in the State of Vermont, we are planning to modify the academic calendar in a way that will provide a full semester of in-person, on-campus instruction and limit large comings and goings of students after the semester has begun. There are many details on which we continue to work, but I understand and respect the need of all our constituencies to know where we are in our planning.

The proposed changes to the Fall 2020 Academic Calendar (subject to approval from the Governor of the State of Vermont and subject to continued monitoring of COVID-19) are as follows:

  • Early start—classes would begin on August 17, which is two weeks before classes would normally have started. This will mean earlier move-in dates, and we will communicate the details after we have coordinated plans with the State and other colleges in the area.
  • Early end—on Tuesday, November 24 in-person classes would end, and students would go home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Finals would be conducted that following week, remotely. Students would return to campus after Christmas break. This return date has not yet been established.
  • Modified October break—in order to minimize the risk of community members bringing the virus to campus from other places, our traditional multi-day mid-semester break, where students typically would leave campus, will not happen this fall. Instead, we are planning for two or more mid-week respite days with no classes, but we will ask that students not travel far from campus on those days.
  • Some evening and/or Saturday classes—this may be required to ensure that each of your courses is able to cover the required material and requisite number of hours.
  • Flexibility of teaching methods—we will be working to accommodate students who may need to isolate for a period and participate in their classes remotely.

In addition to this modified schedule, a safe return will require everyone to take measures before coming to campus and to make certain modifications to how we function within the community—when, where, and how we interact with each other—when on campus. Some of these measures will be determined by the College, and some will be determined by the Governor.

We realize that changes to the academic calendar and new requirements may bring up questions or present challenges for some of you. Please know that we will do our best to be flexible and work with each of you as we adjust to our new schedule. Flexibility will be a common theme over the course of the summer and fall as we may need to adjust to the pandemic and the recommendations of experts and health agencies.

Over the coming weeks, we will continue to keep you apprised as decisions are made. It will be important that everyone remain flexible in this very challenging situation. Please monitor your email and the Saint Michael’s College Health Alerts page for new information. If you should have an urgent question, please email

Saint Michael’s College is dedicated to continuing to provide the transformative academic and student life experience that has served so many since 1904. Indeed, I would argue that there is no better time to dedicate oneself to education and to its fundamental role not only in imparting critical knowledge but also in fostering a better and more caring society. The world needs Saint Michael’s College graduates, and we are wholeheartedly committed to ensuring that our students will thrive.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt

Update from April 30, 2020

From President Lorraine Sterritt

Dear Saint Michael’s community,

I hope this message finds you and your family safe and well. As we reach the end of the semester, please know that we feel your absence on our campus daily, and we look forward to the day when we can all be here, together, again.

With that goal in mind, I want to provide you with an update on our current thinking about the fall semester. The College believes that Vermont has managed the COVID-19 crisis well. After careful consideration, and with the caveat that decisions will be impacted by a number of outside forces, I am pleased to inform you that Saint Michael’s College expects to return to on-campus, in-person instruction in late August on our regular fall schedule. Doing so will necessitate appropriate mitigation strategies to which all members of the community will be required to adhere and particular strategies for any members of the community who are in high-risk groups.

We will continue to follow health agency recommendations to protect the health and safety of the entire community. The College is also developing contingency plans should state and federal health agencies dictate otherwise.

There are many details that remain to be worked out, and many questions we will be better positioned to answer as we continue to monitor the course of the virus through the spring and early summer, but I wanted to share our current intentions with you as soon as possible.

During this challenging time, I hope that you will find comfort in these plans as you prepare for our shared future. I look forward to welcoming you back to campus.


Lorraine Sterritt

Update from April 17, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear members of the Saint Michael’s College community,

I hope this email finds you all well.

Thank you all for your continued hard work and adaptability. I hope that the accommodations and changes to grading policies that were developed by faculty committees and the Office of Academic Affairs have helped to alleviate some stress and anxiety. It was the right thing to do, and I thank them for that.

Among the most difficult communications I have had to send during this crisis was the one letting our seniors and their families know that we had postponed Commencement. I am writing today to share some information about how we plan to celebrate the great class of 2020, to honor them, and to showcase their academic accomplishments. We believe that these plans offer us the best opportunity both to celebrate virtually on the original May 10 date and to provide an opportunity for an in-person celebration on campus at a future date.

Working with members of the Commencement Committee, student leaders reached out to the senior class to assess what was most important for us to retain in any rescheduled Commencement. The response was clear. Seniors expressed that:

  • they want to be together again, on campus, celebrating over a period of days;
  • they and their families would like to experience some of the formal elements of the Commencement celebration;
  • and they want the ability to stay on campus.

Based on that input, the Commencement Committee eliminated the option of a summer 2020 event, because of the risk of having to postpone again, as social distancing is still likely to be the recommendation of health authorities. Looking beyond the summer, the only other period in which we could host the event and house the senior class on campus would be June of 2021. Please know that if there were any way to have it sooner, we would. The Commencement Committee is now starting the planning for that event and will be sharing information as it takes shape. I am excited that we are able to offer an in-person ceremony. Our seniors deserve it.

We all agreed that May 10, 2020 is also an important landmark and should not go by without some event or acknowledgement. So, working with faculty and staff from the Commencement Committee, student leaders are helping to put together a virtual commencement for May 10, one that we can all experience at the same time “together.” We hope that you will have your caps and gowns by then. Your diplomas will be mailed to you later in May, once the Registrar’s office has processed grades under the new system. This tribute to our seniors will give us all a chance to share a moment in real time as you become official graduates of Saint Michael’s College.

In the coming days we will be sharing more information about the plans for the virtual commencement and providing you ways in which to invite anyone with whom you wish to share this milestone. In the meantime, please save and hold the morning of May 10.

Academic Symposium is another event that we agreed must be celebrated. As many of you know, it is a time when students from all different disciplines present their research projects in spaces all over campus over the course of several days. It is truly a time when the College shines bright with the light of our brilliant students. The Undergraduate Research Committee, led by Professor David Heroux of the Chemistry Department, has been working closely with the Office of Information Technology, and I am thrilled to let you know that Academic Symposium is happening, albeit, remotely. From Wednesday, April 22 – Saturday, April 25, more than 100 students will be participating in the Academic Symposium in one of three formats:  via a pre-recorded video, live via Zoom Session, or by presenting ePosters during our normally scheduled poster sessions on Saturday the 25th. We are all excited to experience and learn about our students’ research, scholarship, and creative achievements. You will be receiving more information about the Symposium and links for where to find student presentations in the coming days.

I look forward to celebrating our students at the Academic Symposium, during our virtual Commencement, and ultimately together again in person, on campus. I know that a question on everyone’s mind is when will the College resume in-person instruction and operations? While we can’t predict the timeframe with regard to the course the coronavirus will take, we have begun to discuss scenarios for how to return to in-person functions. In determining both the “how” and the “when,” we will employ the same careful assessment and deliberation that we have used in addressing the initial emergency, and we will be guided by medical and scientific information at every stage of the decision-making process. We will also keep you apprised as decisions are made.

In the meantime, I wish you all the very, very best in these challenging times. Please continue to practice social distancing and to take precautions to protect yourselves, your families, and your communities. We miss our students very much, and we all look forward with a great sense of excitement to the day when we can welcome everyone safely back to our beloved campus in person.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt


Update from April 22, 2020

From Mary Masson, Director of Student Health Services

In order to comply with current state and federal guidelines related to COVID-19 and to keep both our community safe and be good citizens, Saint Michael’s College is instituting the following policy. We ask that ALL members of the Saint Michael’s College community wear a cloth mask to cover your mouth and nose when entering and doing work in campus buildings and around others. Since COVID-19 may be transmitted by someone who does not have symptoms, a mask helps you protect others. Students alone in their residence/room, or employees in their own offices, please use your judgement whether to wear a mask or not in those spaces. If you work in shared offices, where others may also be working or using equipment or facilities in the area (photocopiers, restrooms, etc.), you should wear a cloth mask.

PLEASE do not use N95 masks that are greatly needed by our healthcare community and continue to practice social distancing.

If you do not have access to a cloth mask, students can find masks available in a basket outside of Student Life in Alliot Hall until supplies run out, and employees may contact Public Safety. There are a limited number of masks available, so request one only if you otherwise cannot obtain one.

Public Safety


CDC information on using and maintaining cloth face masks.

Update on April 14, 2020

From Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President of Student Affairs

Dear Students,

I hope this email finds you and your families well during this very difficult time. In light of Governor Scott’s recent decision to extend his Executive Order for only essential travel within the State of Vermont to May 15, we are required to alter the move-out schedule. We have rescheduled groups A-H to later dates (see below). Please note that campus will remain closed on the weekend of May 8-10. If you appealed to come to campus during the May 8-10 weekend, we are sorry, but we cannot honor your appeal any longer.

Dates for move-out grouped by the first letter of student’s last name. Note: groups highlighted in yellow are rescheduled.

I-J                                   May 15; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

K-L                                  May 16; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

M                                    May 17: Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

N-Q                                May 18; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

R                                     May 22; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

S                                      May 23; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

T-Z                                  May 24; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

A-B                                 May 29; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

C-D                                 May 30; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

E-F                                  May 31; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

G-H                                June 1; Campus will be open from 7am to 8pm

Reminder to Students

In light of some online chatter that has come to my attention, I want to reiterate with you that our campus is not open to visiting.

  • You are not allowed to come to campus without prior approval from Student Life.
  • You have an assigned day to move out of your room for a short period of time. That assigned day is the only day you are allowed on campus. If you have special circumstances, please contact

I realize many of you are mourning the traditional spring celebrations on campus such as PDay, however please note:

  • If you are found on campus without prior approval, you will be held accountable. This may include losing your room and board refund, losing your housing assignment for next year, and other sanctions through the College conduct process.
  • Returning to campus without approval will put those students and essential staff still on campus at risk.
  • Please think of others and make good, responsible decisions around your own health and safety.

We will get through this pandemic only if we all abide strictly by the physical restrictions both federal and local governments are asking of us. It is imperative that you be responsible to yourself and others since lives are at stake.

Be assured, we are in the midst of planning an in-person commencement celebration on campus for our seniors to recognize the Class of 2020 at a future time. We are also working with student leaders to do something together remotely this May. We will provide more information soon. We miss you and hope you are doing well.  If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are here for you.

Be well,


Dawn M. Ellinwood, Ed.D. | she, her, hers: pronouns

Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Update of March 26, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

I hope that you are all well and staying healthy. Thank you all for your continued work on adapting to remote learning and supporting one another.

I am writing to communicate important decisions and updates about instruction and certain events for the remainder of the semester. Since the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19, the College’s emergency management teams have been meeting regularly, consulting with our own health experts as well as with peers at other institutions, and with state and federal health agencies. These conversations led us to make several very difficult decisions. We know that these decisions will come as a disappointment, and we all share in that disappointment.

Remote Instruction:

For the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff, we have decided that the remainder of this semester will be conducted through remote instruction. Understandably, this is sad news, especially for our beloved seniors. We fully understand your desire to return to campus, and we strongly wish that that were possible. We will continue to do everything in our power to make online learning as smooth as possible for you. If you are having any technical/computer connectivity challenges, please contact IT at 802.654.2020 or via email at They will even try to support issues you may have because of home internet connectivity.

In the very near future, the Office of Student Life will be sending students and families a schedule and process for when and how students may pick up their belongings. While we will strive to be flexible, we will insist that students come to campus only on their scheduled date. We must stagger student pickups appropriately over the coming months to help ensure the health and safety of everyone and to practice social distancing. Please stay tuned for more information from Student Life.


In addition to suspending in-person instruction for the remainder of the semester, the College has made the very difficult decision to postpone Commencement. Seniors, we have heard you, and we have read your messages about postponing commencement. We are heartsick that it has become necessary to make this decision, and we fully understand your disappointment. You have worked so hard, and you have made so many friends at Saint Michael’s. Please rest assured that we based the decision on advice from public health experts. We will preserve as much as possible of the celebration that recognizes your accomplishments and honors the class of 2020 for another date, ideally in-person. Rest assured also that your degrees will still be conferred on May 10 as originally planned, and that we will mail your diplomas to you. We will watch national developments and work to find a date as soon as possible that will provide the safe and celebratory event that you all deserve. For many of us, commencement is our favorite day of the year, and we very much look forward to celebrating it with you.

Note: Student leaders are collecting commencement ideas from the senior class and sharing these with the commencement committee. If you have ideas and suggestions, please be sure to reach out to them:

Dimitrios Stamoulis, Class President:

Arianna Boscia, Class Vice President:

Katelynn Briere, SGA President:

Brenna Broderick, SGA Vice President:


This year’s reunion, which was to take place May 28 – 31, has also been postponed. This is an event alumni, faculty, and staff look forward to each year, and I share in your disappointment in having to postpone. The Office of Alumni Engagement will be communicating with all alumni as new reunion plans unfold.

I am truly sorry to have to convey this news. Thank you for all the patience and fortitude you are showing during this world-wide crisis. Please continue to care for yourselves and for those around you. Please also continue to practice social distancing so that we all do our part to resolve this crisis.

We very much look forward to resuming our normal in-person activities. We can’t predict when that day will come, but it will come, and we will welcome you back with open arms.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt


Updated March 24, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Tomorrow we embark on a new venture together. We will do the important work that we do—seeking truth, questioning, and educating—remotely. We will miss being together and experiencing the “aha” moments collectively. These moments are an inspiration, and they are the reason many of us chose to work in higher education. While we will do our very best tomorrow and in the days ahead, nothing can entirely replace the magic that happens in a classroom, face to face with each other. We know this, but we will persevere together.

I am already so proud of all of you. The heart, dedication, and resilience that you have demonstrated to get ready for teaching and learning online give me hope for a better tomorrow. A better tomorrow, I am certain, awaits us because of you.

Our world, our country, our community, must learn from this experience. We all must learn from this experience. We must understand what has happened, what is science, what is rumor. Equally importantly, we must then teach others. The world needs exactly what we all live and breathe here—a liberal arts education in all its facets.

These stories of the Saint Michael’s community opening their hearts to help one another remind us of what it means to do well and to do good.

As we move into the next stage of the semester, we will undoubtedly also have technical challenges to overcome together. IT has created a list of resources for remote learning and instruction, which can be found on the Portal and also from the Health Alerts section of our website. If you need additional academic support, you can find a number of resources listed on the FAQ page. I encourage you to reach out. With each other’s help and patience, we will all get better at this as the days go by.

Please also check your SMC email regularly for important updates from the College in the days and weeks ahead, and please know that decisions about the path forward will be shared with you as soon as they are finalized.

Let’s all look forward to the day when we can all be together in person again, and, in the meantime, I pray that everyone will remain safe and healthy.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt

Updated on March 19, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

First and foremost, as we look to the days and weeks ahead, I implore everyone to practice social distancing now. We must do everything in our power to flatten the curve of this pandemic.

Let us not forget that difficult times often bring out the best in people. In recent days I have seen extraordinary acts of kindness, dedication, and hard work from myriad offices and individuals on campus. Our Facilities staff have been disinfecting spaces all over campus to keep us safe. IT is helping employees who are working remotely and supporting our faculty members as they make the transition to teaching online next week. Many individuals and teams are significantly modifying the way in which they work, addressing new questions in this unprecedented time, and helping one another.

My heart goes out to all our students who have also had to adjust to a new reality, particularly our seniors who have had their final semester completely disrupted. We are here for you, and we are working hard on the preparations for the rest of the semester, albeit in a new and different way. I know that we will all face this challenge with the dedication, teamwork, and compassion that characterize the Saint Michael’s community.

As you know we created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, which can be accessed from the Health Alerts page. We add to it regularly as this situation evolves. We have made several important updates to it that include the following:

Students on campus who feel ill: Please read this information carefully as it describes COVID-19 symptoms, outlines what to do if you have them, and tells you about testing and about isolation here on campus. There are no known cases of COVID-19 on campus, but the College has developed a detailed protocol for helping students to get tested if they develop symptoms and has prepared spaces for any necessary isolation. Should a positive case be found on campus, the community will be notified appropriately. More information can be found in the FAQ list under Important Health Information.

College offices and services availability: This information explains which offices are closed for in-person visits or have limited hours until the College resumes in-person activity, but also how to access important services even if an office is physically locked. You can find this information under Campus Operations: Accessing Offices and Services.

Student Employment: The FAQ list has information for students, such as some RA’s and IT staff, who are still working, as well as those who will not return to their jobs on campus. The section where this can be found is under Financial Matters.

Refunds of room and board: Many families have asked this question. You will find more information about our refund policy in the section on Financial Matters.

The Counselors in the Bergeron Wellness Center are here for you. Counselors are still available to you, whether you are on campus or in another state, and any interested students are encouraged to join them on Instagram @bergeroncounseling so that they can keep in touch with you. You can make an appointment by contacting Heidi Brodtman during business hours at 802.654.2234, or if you have a more urgent need outside of business hours, contact ULifeline at 800.273.TALK, or 911. The Bergeron Wellness Center counselors have also created a helpful guide and resources for all of us as we deal with COVID-19 challenges. You can find them on the FAQ page under Important Health Information.

We miss having our students on campus: I know that I speak for my colleagues when I say that you are the reason we chose this line of work. We very much look forward to the day when we welcome you all back to campus! In the meantime, please stay safe and well.

Sincerely yours,

Lorraine Sterritt


Update on March 16, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

Today the US government is warning of the continued rapid spread of the coronavirus and has announced new guidelines, including the closing of schools, and avoiding groups of more than 10 people, as well as avoiding discretionary travel, bars, restaurants, and food courts. On Sunday, Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced a Continuity of Education Plan for the orderly dismissal of all schools (Pre-K – grade 12), and the cancellation of all school-related activities, no later than Wednesday, March 18. We strongly urge all members of our community, both here on campus and beyond, to adhere to all guidelines and recommendations and to monitor the situation closely. In addition to following government guidelines, it is imperative that we all do our part to slow the spread of the virus and to give our medical professionals time to tend to those infected with the virus. It is also imperative that we all practice social distancing now.

At the College we have made, and continue to make, substantial adjustments in the way we do our work. The Information Technology office is making progress on training and technology to prepare for providing classes online. Faculty members are preparing to teach with new tools. Administrators and staff members have already begun to meet via Zoom and conference calls whenever possible, in order to adhere to the practice of social distancing. Sodexo is adapting to new ways of serving food to our students. The Admission Office is busy putting together virtual events for admitted students, and Student Life is working hard to provide students who remain on campus the limited but critical support and assistance they need.

For students, faculty, and staff who remain on campus:

  • The College is strictly prohibiting gatherings of any kind. This includes indoors and outdoors. Meetings must be held via telephone or remote technology.
  • Durick Library is now closed until further notice. Librarians are available to support the College community remotely until the library reopens (see Remote Library Services).
  • The Ross Sports & Tarrant Recreation Centers are closed. No one is permitted to use the facility at this time. Employees who have offices in the buildings may have limited access to their offices only.
  • Additional spaces that are closed with limited access only to employees who have offices in the building are: McCarthy Arts Center, Pomerleau Hall, and all academic buildings. Entrance to academic buildings will be by card access only as of 3/18/2020. All employees must carry their knightcards for access to buildings. If you have any concerns regarding card access, please email
  • Bergeron Wellness Center is staffed and maintaining normal hours, but its doors will be locked. Students must call 802.654.2234 to be evaluated before an appointment can be scheduled.

Student Life is developing a schedule for checking in on students who remain on campus. I encourage each of you to support one another by connecting virtually via social media, phone, and text.

Students, you should have received an email from the Registrar with information about advising and registration extensions, and a reminder from the Office of the Associate Dean about being in touch with your advisor to set up a remote meeting. It is important to be as proactive as possible.

Lastly, the College has created an FAQ list, which is accessible via our Health Alerts page. Many of you have submitted questions, and we are adding to the FAQ list as answers become available.

We will continue to keep you apprised in the days and weeks ahead. Since the situation is changing rapidly, I must ask that all of us be prepared for substantial new developments and changes as we take the steps that are necessary for the health and safety of our community and far beyond. I urge you to take all necessary precautions to protect yourself, your family, and your community. The world is facing a gargantuan challenge, and each and every one of us has a crucial role to play in conquering it.


Lorraine Sterritt


Update of March 15, 2020

From Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President for Student Affairs

Dear SMC students,

In response to changing circumstances, including the declaration of a state of emergency by both the federal government and the State of Vermont and the importance of establishing and maintaining rigorous social distancing practices, we are issuing updated guidance about students in campus residences. This is a rapidly evolving situation and our priority is the health and safety of our students and community. Please be prepared for further changes, given the critical nature of this health emergency, which we are monitoring very closely. We ask for your patience as we all do our best to keep one another safe.

Effective immediately all students remaining on campus will be required to follow these terms in order to remain living on campus:

  • You agree to limit your travel locally for essential purposes only. For instance, travel to work that cannot be done remotely, for health care needs or for emergencies.
  • You understand that you are not permitted to return to live on campus if you traveled outside of the local area; this includes any pre-registered Spring Break plans. If you previously received permission and have left the local area, that permission is now VOID.
  • You will be permitted back to campus to pack up your belongings if you travel outside of the local area ONLY with permission from Student Life.  Please submit your request to return through
  • Students who have already left the campus and were approved/intending to return after March 16 cannot return to campus.  If you have questions, please contact

Also effective immediately:

  • No non-SMC College guests will be permitted in any residence on campus.
  • Dining services and other campus offices will be open but will have limited hours and services.
  • You understand that all College policies, including those stated in the Student Handbook will apply, and you will be held accountable to them.
  • Please be aware that further restrictions may be necessary, including the possibility of the College suspending functions for a period of time. Please review the relocation plan you provided the College when you first enrolled.
  • In the event the campus suspends functions, plans to move the remainder of your belongings out of your room will be forthcoming.

Note, by staying on campus in residence you are agreeing to abide by these guidelines.

If at any point, if you feel sick while on campus in residence you are asked to NOT go directly to any health care provider, including Bergeron Wellness, without a phone call prior.

  • Bergeron Wellness; (802) 654-2234
  • Contact the Vermont Department of Health for guidance; (802) 863-7240
  • Contact 911 in the event of an emergency

You are strongly encouraged to have self-care items on campus including a thermometer and fever reducing medication such as Tylenol.  Please remember that the virus can be spread by people with and without symptoms, thus the importance of social distancing. Please refer to the CDC website for information about caring for yourself and others. Please see links below:

CDC – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

CDC – How to Protect Yourself and Others

Please understand that if conditions change, the College may require additional restrictions.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at the Student Life Office at or (802) 654-2566 during regular business hours.


Dawn M. Ellinwood, Ed.D.|she, her, hers: pronouns

Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students

Updated March 13, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

There are no known cases of COVID-19 on campus. We are nonetheless taking the precaution of canceling all in-person classes today, Friday March 13. Please monitor your email for more information.

Updated March 12, 2020

From Dawn Ellinwood, Vice President for Student Affairs

As you learned from Dr. Sterritt’s letter last evening, the College has made the difficult decision to transition to online/remote instruction through at least April 14. All students are expected to leave campus no later than 6:00pm on Friday, March 13.

When leaving campus, please be sure to take academic materials, laptop, medications, and any other valuables. Please remember to lock your doors, lock your windows, and bring your keys and Knightcard with you. Buildings and rooms will remain secured while you are away from campus. As stated in a previous email, ESA owners must bring your animal with you and we strongly encourage you to leave the animal at home if you receive approval to return to campus.

We recognize that this is an extraordinary disruption to your experience on campus; however we feel that this is the best way to minimize the risk of spreading this virus on this campus and beyond. Fortunately, as of this writing, we have no cases at Saint Michael’s College.

As we transition to online/remote instruction, we realize that there are some students who may need to stay on campus while completing coursework online. You must apply for and receive permission to remain on campus. Please note: those students who received prior approval to stay on campus for the upcoming spring break will now be required to leave campus by March 13 at 6:00pm.

Any student requesting to stay on campus beyond March 13 needs to complete this request form.

Please know that permission to remain on campus may, at any time, change should the level of safety change on campus or the immediate area. In the event of an extreme situation that results in a total campus shut down, please make sure that you have a relocation plan as you may need to enact that plan.

  • Extenuating circumstances to stay on campus may include:
    • You are an international student
    • You are a member of an essential service on campus such as Fire and Rescue
    • You are a student teacher as long as your school district remains open
    • Your presence in the Burlington, VT area is necessary due to academic requirements
    • Leaving campus will result in extraordinary hardship for you
    • You are unable to relocate to a secure living environment
  • Those students who have been approved to stay on campus beyond March 13 are expected to stay in campus housing during spring break and avoid significant travel.
  • Students staying on campus are strongly advised to practice social distancing – no physical contact with one another – and are advised to stay at least 6 feet apart.
  • Students staying on campus will not be permitted to have any social gatherings. All SMC policies remain in effect and any violation of these policies will jeopardize your ability to remain on campus.
  • Students approved to stay on campus beyond March 13 who have left or plan to leave campus will be required to provide to the College all details of their travel; depending on their itinerary, these students may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Those students who are approved to remain on campus can expect:

  • Meals in a limited manner
  • Residence hall access to your own hall only
  • Limited campus offices and support systems will be available
    • Computer labs will be closed
    • Ross/Tarrant will be closed
    • Library services will be limited

We will communicate with you as far in advance as possible once we have pertinent information to share concerning significant campus events such as:

  • P-Day
  • Senior Week
  • Baccalaureate and Commencement Ceremonies
  • Summer Session (including housing and courses)

Please continue to practice self-care as referenced in previous communications and continue to check your SMC email for updates.

We will continue to provide regular updates on our COVID-19 response. Please visit the SMC Health Alerts page for updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through the many logistics of preparing for a smooth transition from our normal operations.


Updated March 11, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

Saint Michael’s College is committed to the health and well-being of our community and is closely monitoring the ongoing developments related to COVID-19 (coronavirus). Following today’s declaration of a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and in consultation with faculty, staff, and the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, we have made the following difficult decisions:

  • The College is extending spring break for students by two days, with classes to resume online remotely on Wednesday, March 25. Remote online instruction will continue until at least April 13. Classes this Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13 are being held in person as scheduled. The earliest that regular in-person classes could resume would be April 14. We will communicate with you regularly during this period. We will monitor developments and follow guidelines and recommendations from health agencies and reassess this timing by no later than April 9.
  • Students who cannot go home/stay home during or after spring break, please email to request permission to live on campus while continuing coursework online. NOTE: This will be on an exception basis only and will require students to remain on campus, avoid travel, and practice social distancing.
  • Students who are flying directly to their spring break destinations from Burlington and returning from those destinations to Burlington, are required to notify Housing at before being allowed to briefly enter their rooms to pick up any necessary belongings.
  • Students studying abroad should adhere to the guidelines and recommendations of their host providers. The Study Abroad Office is in direct communication with these students and their families.
  • Effective immediately, all public events on campus until at least April 14 are cancelled. This includes all athletic events, lectures, performances, and other large gatherings. When we can host events online, we will. We will monitor the situation closely and follow health department recommendations as to when we can again host events on campus.
  • All College sponsored trips have been canceled until at least April 14. This includes trips planned during spring break, e.g., MOVE service trips, athletics trips, and academic study trips.
  • All College sponsored travel by air or other public transportation has been canceled until at least April 14.
  • The College remains open during this period for employees and students who have made arrangements with Student Life. Faculty and staff members who have a fever or don’t feel well must stay home and consult with their primary care providers before coming to work.

In the coming days, you will receive additional information from the College about how we will support this transition. Please monitor your official Saint Michael’s College email for updates.

We understand that many people will have questions. This situation is unprecedented, and we ask for your patience. We will post FAQ’s on this page in the coming days. Remaining questions can be submitted via an online form accessed from this page. We have created a phone line for urgent questions: 802-654-2002. This urgent call hotline is available from 8:30 AM –4:30 PM Monday through Friday.

We recognize the disappointment that students, their families, and all of our community members are experiencing in response to this situation. Our decisions were not made lightly, and they reflect the care and concern of the administration, the Board of Trustees, the faculty, and the staff of the College. Please know that we will do all that we can to continue to support our students, faculty, and staff and to answer your questions as they arise.

At Saint Michael’s, we come together in challenging times. Our team has been working tirelessly to make plans for our students’ education and for the health and safety of our community. We will continue to work together on your behalf.


Updated March 10, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

Although there are currently no recorded COVID-19 virus cases on our campus or in our immediate area, the College is actively making plans for that possibility. The Emergency Management Team and senior leadership of the College have been in daily communication with the Vermont Department of Health and have been meeting regularly since the first news of the outbreak. Our paramount concern is for the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

NOTE: This situation is dynamic, and information can and will change – please monitor your official Saint Michael’s College email account and this page for new information throughout Spring Break.

Classes After Spring Break

The College is actively preparing for the possibility that we may need to ask students to delay their return to campus and to transition to online classes temporarily after Spring Break. That decision could be made at any time between today and Friday, March 20, should conditions and recommendations from the Health Department change.

To prepare for the possibility of online classes from home after Spring Break:

  • Bring with you during Spring Break all academic materials (books, notebooks, laptop) necessary to conduct studies online for some period of time.
  • Check your Saint Michael’s College email during Spring Break in the event we need to notify you that classes will be conducted online.
  • Students who cannot complete their studies online from home will be able to apply for permission to remain on campus. Information on how to request permission will be sent out should the decision to go online be made.
  • Chief Information Officer Bill Anderson and Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeff Trumbower will follow up with faculty with details.
  • Students whose travel plans are directly from and to the campus and who would not be able to bring their academic materials with them on break can coordinate with Student Life to pick up their materials upon their return, if we do move to online classes.

For students who need to stay on campus for Spring Break

  • The College and the Bergeron Wellness Center will remain open. If you need to remain on campus during Spring Break, you MUST register with housing. Email

College-Sponsored Travel

At this time, the College is not canceling any domestic College sponsored trips during Spring Break. That includes Athletics trips, MOVE service trips, and academic study trips. No decisions regarding College sponsored trips that occur later in the year have been made at this time. We may need to make changes at any time depending on guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and Vermont Department of Health.  Monitor your official College email account and this page to keep informed of any new developments.

Public Events on Campus

At this time, the College is not canceling any public events on campus. This includes visiting lecturers, admission events, athletics events, and theatrical events and recitals. The College may change that decision at any time depending on guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and Vermont Department of Health.  Monitor your official College email account and this page to keep informed of any new developments.

Students Studying Abroad

Students who are studying abroad have been in direct contact with their in-country program providers and the Saint Michael’s College study abroad office.

Students and Employees at Particular Risk

For those in our community with particular concerns about their risk because of chronic medical conditions, more information will be sent to students from Bergeron Wellness Center, and to faculty and staff from Human Resources later today.

Additional information for travelers

  • Read the latest CDC travel warnings and know the Travel Health Alert status of the places to which you are traveling. If you are traveling to areas with a Level 3 or higher Health Alert status, you will not be allowed back on campus until you have completed a 14-day period of self-isolation elsewhere.

Helpful Links

I want to acknowledge the care and concern shown by everyone, and the hard work of the College faculty and staff. We will share new information with you as soon as it becomes available. Thank you all for your understanding as we address this challenge together.

Updated March 9, 2020

From the Office of Marketing and Communications

The Vermont Department of Health has reported the first Vermont case of COVID-19 in the southern part of the state. The College continues to closely monitor developments and follow the guidelines provided by state and federal health agencies, as well as coordinate with other institutions of higher education.

Continue to follow CDC guidelines for prevention to keep yourself and others healthy. Over the next few days, the College will be sending out information and recommendations for spring break travel.

Updated March 6, 2020

From the Office of Marketing and Communications

We continue to closely monitor the developments around the spread of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) and together with the College’s Emergency Management Team, are actively working on contingency plans to address its potential impacts on the College, its people and programs. We, like many other colleges and universities, are focused on continuing to deliver a quality student experience, while placing the health and safety of everyone at the forefront of our planning. We will continue to post updates to this Health Alerts webpage where you can find updated information and links to helpful resources,

At this time, there are no confirmed cases of the virus in Vermont. However, the Vermont Department of Health is monitoring a number of individuals, and we expect that it is only a matter of time before there are cases in the state. The best thing we can all do to stay healthy and keep our community healthy is to follow the CDC guidelines for prevention.

If you have been in contact with anyone who has been in areas designated by the CDC as a Level 3 or greater Health Travel Notice, the Vermont Department of Health asks you to contact them at 802-863-7240. They will be in regular contact with you to monitor you for symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough, or fever. If you develop these symptoms, call first before going to your health care provider for evaluation. Stay in place and either call the Bergeron Wellness Center at 802.654.2234 (student), your provider (faculty/staff), or the Vermont Department of Health at 802.863.7240 (this phone is answered 24/7). You can find the up-to-date Health Travel notices on the CDC website. This information is important to monitor for students and employees planning travel in the coming weeks.

Study Abroad
We remind all students studying abroad to remain in close contact with your program providers. At this time, we do not have any additional students with programs abroad who are suspending operations and sending students home. That said, many students abroad are being asked to limit their travel from their host sites, and to avoid travel to certain areas with higher rates of infection. Please follow the guidelines provided by your host providers and if you have any questions or concerns, contact our Study Abroad office at 802.654.2222.

Upcoming Travel
Students, faculty, and staff with plans to travel in the coming weeks, consider making backup plans. At this time, the College isn’t cancelling any domestic trips planned for spring break by College groups, including teams, clubs, and programs. However, it is possible this could change at any time because the situation is so fluid. We advise you to please make backup plans for spring break in case we have to cancel trips. If you’re buying plane tickets, seriously consider purchasing travel insurance, too.

People being mistreated because of their descent or nationality is unacceptable. As the CDC has stressed on its website, it is important to remember that people – including those of Asian descent – who do not live in or have not recently been in an area of ongoing spread of the virus, or have not been in contact with a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of it are not at greater risk of spreading it than other Americans. We encourage everyone to show compassion and care for those who may be experiencing these kinds of discrimination and social stigma. If you witness such acts, share that these behaviors hurt everyone, foster fear, and can affect people’s wellbeing and the community’s resilience. Share the facts about COVID-19, which can be found on the CDC website.

Updated March 2, 2020

From Lorraine Sterritt, President

Dear Saint Michael’s College Community,

I am writing to provide an update on the coronavirus (COVID-19) as it relates to our students studying abroad and on our campus here in Vermont. While there are no confirmed cases of the virus in Vermont, the College is actively planning for that possibility.

Our immediate concern is with our students studying abroad. On Friday, the U.S. Department of State raised its Travel Advisory for Italy to Level 3: Reconsider Travel. As a result, our students in Italy were notified on Friday by their program providers to return to the U.S., as those programs were being suspended for the semester.

For our students in study abroad programs in other countries, the College is monitoring the situation very closely and maintaining close contact with study abroad program providers, the Vermont Department of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other health agencies. It may be necessary to bring more students home based on future recommendations from the CDC and U.S. Department of State, but no such decision has been made at this time.

We are actively working with those programs on contingency plans that would allow students to continue their studies online. We ask for patience as we and the study abroad providers are working around the clock to address individual needs and concerns.

For students, faculty, and staff currently on campus who may be returning from travel to areas with a Travel Advisory designated Level 3 or higher by the U.S. State Department, the College will require you to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days before being permitted to return to campus. Please consider this carefully as you plan your travel for the upcoming spring break.

We remind you that the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 can be found on the CDC and Vermont Department of Health websites:

Vermont Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


We also ask that each member of our community review the CDC anti-stigma guidelines issued recently regarding coronavirus. The CDC advises that we collectively focus on the disease that is causing the problem and avoid casting blame on individuals, cultures, or nationalities.

The health and safety of our community is our primary concern. We will keep you informed as the situation evolves. Please monitor your email for any related updates from the College, and regularly check the website health alerts page at:

Updated February 27, 2020

From Mary Masson, Director of Student Health Services

Saint Michael’s College is closely monitoring the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). The safety of our community is our highest priority. At this time, the virus is not spreading widely in the United States and there are no suspected cases in Vermont. This is an evolving situation and the College’s Emergency Management Team is monitoring it closely and will update the community via email and updates to this health alerts webpage.

Students Abroad

We are closely monitoring the situation in countries where we have students studying abroad and communicating directly with those students and their families. We have no students studying in countries that the U.S. Department of State rates as Level 3: Reconsider Travel or Level 4: Do Not Travel.  We have four students studying in central Italy, a country that has experienced a recent outbreak in the northern part of the country. Currently, the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory for Italy is Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution, and the CDC has issued a Level 2 Health Alert for Italy, Practice Enhanced Precautions. Our Italian program providers are remaining operational, as are a number of other study abroad programs in Italy.

We will continue to be in close communication with our students in Italy and their program providers as well as follow all medical and public health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the U.S. State Department.

For all students who are currently abroad:

  • Closely follow the protocols of your study abroad program and the recommendations of local government officials and International SOS.
  • All Saint Michael’s College study abroad students are covered by the College’s International Travel Assistance and Insurance Program and enrolled in the International Travel Registry that facilitates communication and support in the event of an emergency. These resources provide 24/7 assistance and communication.
  • We are sensitive to the concerns of our students abroad and their loved ones. The College will work with individual students to support their decisions and provide academic and logistical advice and resources relying on our education partnerships and risk management resources abroad and on campus. Independent of the College’s recommendations, we understand that students and families will need to make decisions that work best for them.
  • Students with questions about their study abroad program should contact their in-country program staff and their Saint Michael’s study abroad adviser. Students with questions about their health and safety should contact their in-country emergency contact or the Saint Michael’s College Study Abroad Office.
  • The Study Abroad Office can be reached by calling 802.654.2222 or emailing Peggy Imai at
  • In case of emergency contact:
    • Bergeron Wellness Center at: 802.654.2234
    • Saint Michael’s College switchboard: 654.2000
    • The Vermont Department of Health at: 802.863.7240

As the outbreak evolves, we will continue to post news recommendations from the CDC and other agencies on this page.

The most up to date information about COVID-19 can be found on the CDC, and Vermont Department of Health websites:

Vermont Department of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

For members of our community who plan to travel in the coming weeks, please follow all CDC Travel Guidelines.

Updated February 6, 2020

From Bergeron Wellness Center

The flu is widespread in Vermont and has been for several weeks. The staff at the Bergeron Wellness Center have seen and diagnosed many cases. We are asking anyone with flu-like symptoms to wear a mask so they can protect their health and the health of others. So, if you see a student with a mask, thank them for keeping you healthier! And if you are experiencing symptoms of the flu, such as cough, fever, chills, body aches, etc. call for an appointment at the Bergeron Wellness Center at 654.2234.

This should not be confused with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus. There are no documented cases of the virus in our state at this time, but information continues to unfold daily. For the most up to date information on the Novel Coronavirus visit or

As with all viruses, protect yourself and others by washing your hands, staying home when your ill, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and don’t share drinks, bottles, etc.