A Message from President Kerry Walk
Dear MMC Students and Families:
Greetings from 71st Street! As many of you know, our great city has begun to reopen: we are about to enter Phase Two of the four-phase reopening process. The city is springing back to life, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has said the turnaround “is going to go in the history books.”
Marymount Manhattan’s Presidential Task Force to Restart MMC has been hard at work planning for a safe campus environment, flexible course delivery options, and the personalized, tight-knit educational experience for which our college is widely known. Our guiding principles are Safety, Flexibility, and Community. You will find that the magnetic qualities of our small but mighty college are as powerful as ever, with NYC’s limitless network available to you wherever you call home.
There is no doubt that the world has changed dramatically, and the new environment in which we live is very different from the one we knew just a few months ago. But the path forward for us as individuals, families, and communities—and this includes our college community—is coming into focus. In addition to defining a path to health and safety in this new environment, we are on a historic path to racial justice and equity, begun during the Civil Rights movement and reinvigorated by the current national movement. At MMC, we have intensified our efforts to create an anti-racist campus culture and a genuinely inclusive community in which all members feel visible, valued, and embraced. Plans for reopening the physical campus include plans for reopening essential dialogue and restarting action that will propel the College toward racial equity and justice.
MMC’s Fall 2020 Plans
A word of caution about current plans to restart MMC: As frustrating as this is for all of us, we do not yet have the answers to many of your most urgent questions. Like the reopening of colleges and universities across the country, MMC’s reopening is guided by, and entirely dependent on, the directives of government and health officials, as well as the trajectory of the pandemic itself.
The College eagerly anticipates New York State guidance for reopening higher education, which will define how and in what capacity colleges and universities in the state can reopen their campuses. We also continue to carefully monitor the health crisis as its impact is felt in the many regions of the nation and the world in which MMC students live. At this time, I can share the broad outlines of MMC’s current plans for the fall while emphasizing that our plans may change. Below are the ways in which our guiding principles of Safety, Flexibility, and Community are informing our plans to restart MMC:
- Your safety is our absolute highest priority. MMC is currently planning an on-time start to the Fall 2020 semester, with the first day of classes as scheduled, on Monday, August 31, 2020. We’re taking the summer to ensure that new health and safety measures are firmly in place.
- To reduce the likelihood of illness spreading on campus, we’re currently planning to implement reduced density in classrooms and residence halls, physical distancing in all campus spaces, face coverings, enhanced cleaning procedures, and other measures.
- We will share the number of spaces we can make available in our residence halls as soon as State guidance is available.
- Our campus location in a major metropolitan area, where public transportation is the norm, presents a unique set of challenges. We’re carefully monitoring official guidance pertaining to the larger environment in which our campus resides, and will put in place best practices for supporting a safe and healthy experience in the city.
- A hallmark of an MMC education is flexibility: Marymount Manhattan students are experts at combining multiple passions and pursuits into an educational experience that’s unique.
- To give our students greater flexibility, the College is dramatically expanding its suite of online courses, as well as courses that blend online and in-person education. A schedule of the format in which courses will be offered is expected soon.
- Although we yet don’t know which courses will be in-person, online, or a combination of the two, MMC courses will be as small as ever and will feature the kind of personal attention and care for which our college is known.
- There’s a reason we refer to our college as “The MMC Family” so often: we’re truly a tight community, whether in person or online. Opportunities for personal connection and collaboration with faculty, staff, and other students will abound.
- New York is a vast network of creative, ambitious individuals who are willing to share their experiences and knowledge. Students will still be able to find their NYC “edge” through CityEdge courses, services, and activities.
- To help make MMC more affordable during these challenging times, the College is giving eligible full-time, degree-seeking students an MMC Together Grant, which will be reflected as applicable in students’ accounts.
I’d like to conclude by recognizing again the challenges that the ongoing and exceptionally high level of uncertainty presents to all of our students and their families, and to thank you for your patience and understanding. I am acutely aware that your own planning very much depends on MMC’s. I anticipate being able to share more details about MMC’s plans in early to mid-July.
Although our expectations must adapt to suit the times, I feel fortunate that MMC is a college of individuals who exhibit boundless creativity, determination, and resilience. I know of no other community of students, faculty, and staff who are more eager or better equipped to succeed and adapt in the face of today’s challenges.
Kerry Walk, Ph.D.
MMC’s Fall 2020 Restart Plan will be announced on July 8, 2020.
Read our updates regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) here.