March 12, 2020

Dear Spelman Community,

The COVID-19 virus continues to spread through a growing number of regions in the United States and the rest of the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The World Health Organization have shared that we are past the point of being able to contain this disease and have declared its status a pandemic. While there continue to be no reported cases of the virus on our campus, the need for mitigation efforts is urgent.

Academic Continuity and the Transition to Remote Learning

Spelman will move to remote learning beginning Monday, March 23, enabling students to complete their academic program off-campus. Academic programs will be offered remotely until the end of the spring semester.

1. To assist faculty and students in their transition from in-person to remote instruction, the College is extending Spring Break by one week through Sunday, March 22. During the Spring Break extension, faculty and staff will finalize alternate models of delivering courses. Students will receive a series of emails with detailed instructions on the delivery of academic content, dates for moving personal belongings, emergency assistance, and other information related to  this transition. Faculty members will receive guidance from the Office of the Provost in a separate communication.

2. One of the high-risk factors in the spread of the Coronavirus is large gatherings. Spelman’s residence halls are currently at 100% capacity and are considered large gatherings. To mitigate the risk of highly populated gatherings, we ask that students follow the guidance they will receive from the Office of Student Affairs assigning specific times for them to return to the residence halls to retrieve their belongings.

3. Students should check e-mail often and be on the lookout for messages from Student Affairs with an individual link to a form that will offer dates and times to pick-up belongings. All students MUST fill out this form. We recognize that the need to come to campus to collect belongings places an unexpected financial burden on students and their families. There are limited emergency funds to assist with travel. Students in need of emergency financial assistance may use the form to indicate their level of need.

4. We understand that there are a limited number of students who may face unforeseen hardships based on extenuating circumstances and will need to remain on campus. Student Affairs has created a hardship petition form for those students who must remain in the residence halls after the scheduled time to move out. Students will receive more details about the petition process from Student Affairs.

5. When moving out, we encourage students to take all items of value and all materials (textbooks, notes, devices, etc.,) that are needed to continue their studies remotely after Spring Break. A subsequent notice to students will provide more information about packing and moving support.

6. Spelman’s campus will continue to operate during this period. The work of educating our students and caring for those who remain on campus will continue without interruption. There will be faculty and staff available to answer queries and assist students as we undergo this transition from in-person instruction to remote learning.


Spring is an especially festive time on campus and is filled with many traditional events that we all cherish. However, given the risks associated with large gatherings the College has come to the realization that in the next few days we must review all major events and circulate a list of those special events that we expect to cancel. Guidance regarding campus tours will be available at that time as well.

Travel Guidance

1. Effective immediately, Spelman is suspending ALL college-sponsored and college-related faculty, student and staff international travel until at least June 30, the end of our fiscal year. This includes travel for students preparing to begin study abroad or foreign exchange opportunities in the coming weeks. Students, if you had plans to participate in a college-sponsored or related international travel program, the vice provost for global studies and, where relevant, the faculty lead, will be in touch with you to provide additional information regarding next steps. We recognize how disruptive and significant this decision is, and the College is actively working with relevant departments to help affected students continue their academic progress through instructional continuity and other means.

2.This travel suspension policy also includes trips associated with scholarly activities as a Spelman employee, whether funded by the College or by a government grant, foundation, company or other university. (Rare exceptions will be considered. Those who feel they have a compelling need to travel internationally may apply in writing to the provost and the president.)

3. The College also strongly urges all members of our community to reconsider ANY personal international travel plans through the end of the spring semester, due to escalating or unpredictable health risks, rapidly changing international travel guidance, and the associated risk of disruptions to their reentry to the U.S.

These difficult decisions were made in the interest of the health and safety of our entire college community. We are collaborating with our partner institutions – Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College and Morehouse School of Medicine – in the Atlanta University Center Consortium. Please continue to visit Spelman's Coronavirus Update page on, where the College will continue to add to the list of FAQs as information becomes finalized.
Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D.
President, Spelman College


Office of the President
Phone: 404-270-5001

Fax: 404-270-5010

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