WINONA LAKE — Grace College President Dr. Bill Katip released a letter to students and parents on Monday, May 18, that announced the college’s intention to reopen its campus to students in the fall.
The letter explained that the Scenario Planning Task Force commissioned by Dr. Katip this spring has worked tirelessly to consider all of the effects of COVID-19 on Grace College and how to best respond to each one. After much consideration and planning, the task force recommended and Grace College administration determined that Grace College should reopen this fall.
“Like our mission statement says, we are first and foremost a community — a ‘Christian community of higher education,'” said Katip. “While we have done our best to maintain community by virtual means this spring, we know that face-to-face instruction, dorm room camaraderie and dining hall conversations are all essential to who we are and what we achieve,” said Katip.
The letter goes on to explain the value of the Grace community felt most recently by the school’s “Bring them Back” campaign on its annual Day of Giving. The Grace community rallied together on April 22 to raise more than $110,000 to assist students in returning to campus in the fall.
Katip explained that other considerations were taken into account as well, including the greater Winona Lake community.
“In our small town of 5,000, Grace students increase our local population by a quarter when on campus, and likewise shrink it by a quarter when away,” said Katip. “Our students patronize local businesses and fellowship in local churches. Many restaurants and stores rely on our support. Certainly, the presence of Grace students and staff has been greatly missed in Warsaw and Winona Lake.”
Work is now underway to develop specific plans for safe and effective reopening in each area of campus. Grace College will communicate details of these plans to students and parents in the coming weeks and months.