Spring Semester 2021 Plans

September 24, 2020


To the Saint Mary's College Community,

On Monday, I spoke with Father Jenkins at the University of Notre Dame and heard first-hand about their plans for the spring semester. Those plans align nicely with what our provost and her teams have been considering for the next term, and we are always cognizant that it helps our students to be on a relatively similar trajectory to ND and HCC. I am pleased, therefore, to announce that the outline of our semester will mirror Notre Dame’s, with a February 3, 2021 start date, a single holiday on Good Friday, exams May 14–19, and Commencement the weekend of May 21–23.

Thank you for getting us to the point where we can even contemplate a spring semester! Your compliance with our health and safety standards has been extraordinary. We know that the winter months will present new challenges, including the need to spend more time indoors and the usual round of winter colds and flus—that’s why we are trying to shrink the winter period for campus-based activity. We are so grateful that students have signed up in large numbers for our Flu Fest this Sunday (and walk-ins are still welcome!), that the community continues to complete the daily health check, and that you are all so cooperative with our screening testing efforts. This will make a huge difference in our ability to stay together on campus in the spring!

There are many details we are still working out, and you will hear more soon about a variety of matters. For example, we are considering whether we can offer housing options at any point during the long winter break and how to host an Easter holiday celebration on campus. Our Student Affairs and Mission Divisions will be leaning into these questions. We will also discuss the viability of a winter session that could allow students to take an intensive short-term course during the winter break as part of their spring semester load. Provost Ufomata will be reconvening the Academic Continuation Task Force and working with the Academic Leadership Council on this matter in the very near future.

As we complete our seventh week of classes, I ask that everyone please stay the course!We are seeing a new surge in COVID-19 cases across the nation and the world, and it will take all of our efforts to buck that trend at Saint Mary’s. You have shown that you are capable of it, so (as they say in Field of Dreams): “Go the distance!” I am so proud of the many ways we have found to be in this ALL TOGETHER.

Thank you again for your commitment to a healthy campus and to our imperative to Check Up, Mask Up, Back Up, and Wash Up! It is making a big difference! Now you need to add “Test up”—in other words, if you are called for screening testing, please comply!

I look forward to seeing you around on campus.


Best regards,



Katie Conboy, PhD

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