March 19, 2020

Dear Students, Parents and Family Members,

As we continue to receive updates regarding the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the nation and world, our hearts go out to anyone in our community who may be affected. Our philosophy here on campus has been to do everything possible to ensure our students remain on track to earn their spring course credits and in general achieve their educational goals. Faculty have been using the spring break to move their courses to a remote learning model, and students will resume classes on Monday.

As I outlined in my message on March 17 regarding on-campus housing and services, our ability to provide a robust living environment for the remainder of the semester has been significantly reduced by state and federal directives intended to halt the spread of the virus. At this point, we are only able to provide minimal services to the students who remain on campus, and I fear that additional restrictions could still occur.

Although we had hoped that we would be able to welcome students back to campus after Spring Break, based on the rapidly deteriorating situation nationwide and on the advice and counsel of local authorities and public health officials, we will not return to an in-person model of teaching this semester, and we have made the difficult decision to restrict on-campus housing to only those students with special circumstances.

If a student feels they must remain on or return to campus, please be in touch with the Office of Residential Education at (315) 781-3880 before the end of business on Friday, March 20, 2020 so that we can discuss your circumstances.

In recognition of this situation, the Colleges will be crediting 50% of Room and Board charged for the Spring 2020 semester, less the proration of any financial aid received directly from the Colleges. We hope this action by the Colleges is helpful for students and families as we all navigate this challenging time.

For students who are not graduating this spring, your credit will be applied to your account. Graduates will receive a payment from the Colleges for any credit balances after graduation. We will send a notice once credits have been posted later in the semester.

All students will be able to access their campus rooms at any point during the term to move belongings. OneCards have been deactivated for students not registered for housing. Please contact Residential Education to arrange a time to access your room. We will work with you to make arrangements to ship or store your belongings at the end of the term if you are unable to return to campus.

For our students who are scheduled to graduate this semester, please know that there are no words that can fully express the degree to which we are all thinking about you and the many ways that these extraordinary world events are shaping your final semester at Hobart and William Smith. The Colleges have gone through a great deal during your years in Geneva, and your contributions to our community have served your fellow students, your faculty and all other community members so very well. We cannot possibly express the depth of our sadness about the situation.

On behalf of everyone at the Colleges, I hope that you all stay healthy and safe, and find great success in the completion of this semester.


Robb Flowers
Vice President for Campus Life

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Page
COVID-19 Safety Training Employee Daily Wellness Assessment Application for CARES Act Funding July HEERF Student Aid Report HEERF Student Aid Report Stories about the Pandemic

Messages to the Community

Update on Fall Reopening by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - June 24, 2020

HWS Return to Campus Update for Employees Sonya Williams - June 11, 2020

Fall 2020 Study Abroad by Mary Coffey and Thomas D’Agostino - June 5, 2020

Planning Underway for our Fall Opening by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - May 28, 2020

Forward, Together by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - May 12, 2020

Using the CARES Act to Stay on Track for Graduation by John Young - May 12, 2020

Updates from Campus by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - April 27, 2020

An Update to Parents and Family Members of Admitted Students by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - April 27, 2020

Greetings from Human Resources by Sonya Williams - April 15, 2020

Grading for Spring 2020 Semester by Mary Coffey - March 30, 2020

Timeliness and Timelessness of an HWS Education by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 27, 2020

Introducing the HWS Student Emergency Fund by Julie Bazan ’93 and Rick Solomon ’75, P’10 - March 24, 2020

Staff Telework Resources by Sonya Williams - March 24, 2020

Message Regarding Commencement by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 20, 2020

Postponed: HWS Reunion by Bob O’Connor P’22 - March 19, 2020

Updates Regarding On-Campus Housing by Robb Flowers - March 19, 2020

Updates Regarding On-Campus Housing and Services by Robb Flowers - March 17, 2020

A Massive Natural Experiment by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 16, 2020

With Gratitude by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 13, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Face-to-Face Instruction Canceled by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - March 13, 2020

Follow-Up Note on Colleges’ Response to Coronavirus by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - March 11, 2020

From the Dean of Spiritual Engagement by The Reverend Nita C. Johnson Byrd - March 12, 2020

Coronavirus Information and Contingency Planning by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 10, 2020

An Update on the Coronavirus by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - March 5, 2020

Information on the Coronavirus by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - February 28, 2020


General questions and comments should be directed to:

Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

Questions regarding health issues should be directed to:

Hubbs Health Center
119 St. Clair Street
Geneva, NY 14456
Phone: 315-781-3600
Appt. Phone: 315-781-4530
Fax: 315-781-3802