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Fall 2021 Updates

On these pages you can learn about Chatham's plans for the 2021 school year in light of COVID-19. Further information will be shared in May, June and July as the details are finalized. 

Return-to-Campus Announcement

Dear Students, Faculty & Staff, 

The past year on our campus, the region and around the world has been challenging to say the least. I mourn the loss of life, normalcy and togetherness that COVID-19 has caused everyone. 

Here at Chatham, our collective efforts and dedication to the Cougars Care Commitment have allowed us to stay healthy, safe and on campus throughout the year. I know it has not always been easy. Thank you once again for your commitment to Chatham and, most importantly, to each other this past year. 

As we look ahead, I am filled with hope that the normal rhythms of life are slowly beginning to return. A return that wouldn’t be possible without the incredible scientific breakthroughs that have produced multiple and highly effective vaccines, the tireless work of front-line healthcare workers, and the efforts of the more unsung essential workers that have kept our country, schools and universities, and the economy running in ways that we could have never dreamed of a year ago. 

In this hopeful moment, we continue the planning and preparation for the fall term. Our vaccine survey showed strong willingness among our community to get vaccinated. In addition, Pennsylvania expanded vaccine eligibility and registration, which means faculty and staff are now eligible to register for vaccine appointments through the County or a vaccine provider on April 5 and students on April 19. This accelerating rollout of the vaccines suggests we will have enough doses to vaccinate every adult in the country by the start of this summer—a truly remarkable accomplishment.

Based on these critical factors, I am pleased to announce it is our plan to return to an in-person, academic and residential campus experience this fall. We are anticipating an experience that will include on-campus classes, events, athletics, and increased capacity in our residence halls. In addition, we also plan to keep and enhance some of the changes and services we adopted due to the pandemic that increase convenience, efficiency and the overall experience for our students and employees. 

A number of campus working groups will work on the details for the fall, and we will share them through a series of campus and website updates in May, June and July. In addition, for those who are enrolled in or teach summer courses, we are currently working through the protocols and will provide details in the coming weeks. 

Our ability to achieve our return-to-campus goal hinges on high vaccine adoption by the community, local case and hospitalization trends, and, of course, the need to follow the guidance and requirements of government and health agencies. At the same time, we will also prudently prepare for various contingencies we may face this summer and next year. 

While we are excited to look ahead, it is vital that we continue to follow all current health and safety guidelines on and off campus. Our ability over the coming weeks to celebrate the end of the academic year and the accomplishments of our graduates, hinges on all of us maintaining these protocols, particularly as we know that the more infectious virus variants are now present in Pittsburgh. 

I encourage everyone to keep up the behaviors that have kept us safe and healthy this year and, as always, thank you for your commitment to Chatham. Best of luck on the end of term, and I look forward to celebrating with our graduates and many of you at the various in-person yet physically distanced events we have planned this month.   


David Finegold