In response to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, Gordon College will continue courses online through the remainder of the spring semester.  Learn more and stay updated ➔

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Monitoring and Responding to the Coronavirus Health Concern

Updated March 25, 2020

To the campus community and parents of Gordon students, 

My Cabinet colleagues and I are both deeply appreciative as well as encouraged by the shared hope and responsiveness we as Christ-followers are bringing to this extraordinarily challenging season. Thank you for all that you are doing to faithfully serve one another and to bless our community. I write today to share several important updates as we continue to navigate through this global crisis. Please see the details below for new information and the timing for additional updates, and please continue to check this web resource for regular updates and additional FAQ material.

Governor's Executive Order of March 24, 2020

As most of you know already, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued an executive order for the state which directed all non-essential businesses to close their "brick-and-mortar" operations at noon yesterday (Tuesday, March 23) through at least April 7. The Governor also issued a “stay at home” advisory for individuals during this same time period, requesting limited travel and personal interactions in accordance with CDC guidelines. An exemption provision in this order permits colleges and universities to maintain essential campus services, including the facilitation of the remote learning we implemented on Monday and providing the necessary support services to students who have to remain on campus. While these restrictions currently have a two-week timeframe, it seems clear the disruption in normal flow of business and personal interactions will extend longer than originally anticipated.

Remote Learning for the Remainder of Spring Semester

As such, the College’s leadership team has agreed it is most prudent to extend the remote learning and living program through the rest of the regular spring semester. Dates for Reading Day and exams will remain the same. Students will not need to return to campus to complete coursework this spring. (See below for the next steps regarding the process for checking out of residence halls.) 

While I know this disappointing and frustrating for all of us, especially graduating students, I am deeply grateful for each of my faculty and staff colleagues—and our students—who have responded with grace, gentleness and perseverance as they work with new technologies and develop innovative ways to meet the College’s educational mission. 

While there may be no substitute for the “real thing” at Gordon, our dedication to a personal educational experience and Christ-like pastoral care for each student remains as passionate as ever. We have also heard from many parents who had advocated for this course of action, as a common concern for many families was the potential expense of returning their students to campus and the uncertainty generated by the escalating national response to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Even so, social distancing will not mean disconnection at Gordon, as our faculty and staff have worked tirelessly, collaboratively and creatively to develop a virtual experience for the next two months.

Check-out Process for Residential Students

A comprehensive move-out plan for residential students is being finalized and will be communicated to students within 24 hours. Starting this evening, we will be in touch with students currently living on campus, as we are strongly recommending that they make arrangements to return home for the rest of the semester.  Those for whom this is not an option should see the extenuating circumstances section of the web resource page linked below.

For students already at home, the semester’s move-out process will begin April 8, unless circumstances in our area warrant a change. View complete move-out details ➔

In order to work within local, state and CDC guidelines during this time, this process will be orderly and limit the number of people on campus and in the residence halls at any given time. Residential students will receive specific details from their respective resident director. This is obviously a far different process than a normal end-of-year checkout, so our team greatly appreciates your charity and patience during this effort as they work diligently to accommodate everyone. As a reminder, campus access remains restricted at this time. Contact Student Life ( or 978.867.4263) if you have questions.

Graduate in May—Celebrate in October

While some colleges (particularly the larger universities) in our area have chosen to hold Commencement in some online format, we did not want to deprive graduating seniors and our graduate students (and their families) of the opportunity to celebrate in person with each other and with their classmates. In collaboration with the GCSA Commencement Committee, the College’s leadership team will plan to hold Baccalaureate and Commencement on Gordon’s campus as part of an expanded Homecoming on Friday and Saturday, October 2 and 3. Given the extraordinary circumstances thrust upon the College (and the globe) by this pandemic, we believe this plan will offer the best opportunity for seniors and families to enjoy a well-deserved capstone experience to their time at Gordon. The fall date was selected after additional consultation with local and state health officials, who currently believe it will offer the best opportunity for a semblance of normalcy with a large gathering.

The Board of Trustees will still formally approve all degree recipients on May 16, so eligible students (all who have completed their graduation requirements) will officially graduate “on time,” with all rights, responsibilities and privileges as per tradition. As we do each year, diplomas will then be mailed to students over the summer. 

We all relish the pageantry and spring ambiance of a traditional May Commencement ceremony, but this combined event in October should be an exciting “first” for the College. It will also include our annual Celebration of Faithful Leadership event, and the opportunity for graduating students and families to meet and celebrate with generations of fellow alumni. 

We hope this rescheduling will help give Gordon families the extra time needed to revise original travel and lodging plans with enough advance notice to develop alternative arrangements. More complete details on programming will be added to this website as soon as available, and also communicated by email to graduating seniors and graduate student degree recipients.

Financial Considerations

The College leadership team continues to carefully assess the options regarding the process to prorate spring semester room and board payments for residential students who (like all of us) anticipated being on campus for the full spring semester. This is not a “one size fits all” process, as the situation is different for graduating students and returning students, and we are evaluating the best means of meeting this need while being fiscally responsible to the needs of the College operations in what is an extraordinary time for institutions around the country. 

We will share next steps on this process with students and parents by April 15. We appreciate your patience.

The Road Ahead

In the last few weeks, writers have been exhausting their thesaurus for new superlatives to adequately capture the stunning speed and scope through which the COVID-19 health crisis has touched every aspect of our personal and professional lives, both in the U.S. and abroad. This is a truly extraordinary time for all of us, traveling a road both unfamiliar and uncertain. Our GPS, if you will, is the same as it has always been—God’s eternal and unchanging promises to care for his people and to provide for their needs. As the College looks toward resuming normal operations in various capacities in the near future, I will be assembling a team of colleagues to work together in assessing and guiding the College down this road toward recovery and recalibration in the weeks and months ahead. We know many of you will be facing the same challenge on a personal level. We will uplift you in prayer, and likewise covet your prayers and support. 

Our founder A. J. Gordon once wrote that believers are blessed who do not shrink from “the pangs of transformation through which Christ is to be fully formed in us.” This global crisis is an opportunity for a Christian institution like Gordon to stand firm with other believers in stepping forward in faith with perseverance, bringing hope and encouragement to friends, neighbors and colleagues, even in the face of uncertainty and anxiety.

May God’s grace, truth and the peace that passes all understanding strengthen you in these challenging moments. I thank God for you and look forward to seeing what the Lord does in and through us during this season.

With deep gratitude for you and prayers for health and safety,

President D. Michael Lindsay

Updated March 22, 2020

To all members of the extended Gordon family,
As the COVID-19 global pandemic disrupts a sense of normalcy and even the cherished rhythms of daily life and personal interactions for many of us, I want you to know we are working tirelessly at Gordon to find creative ways to deliver on our educational mission to our students, and to model the same individual attention and care they would receive in person. Since I cannot speak with each of you personally, please see this short video message.
—President D. Michael Lindsay

March 16, 2020 Update

The following announcement was shared with the Gordon community on March 16.

Dear Gordon community,

As we continue to grapple in real time with the contours of a dynamic global health threat, I write tonight to update you on the College’s response. The College’s leadership has determined that Gordon’s undergraduate classes will resume on Monday, March 23 in an online format and will remain online through Monday, April 13. Graduate education classes will move fully online starting this evening for the rest of the graduate winter session. Other graduate programs will hear from their program director and we will update this page with more specific information soon.

As we transition to a remote learning environment, some faculty have already started this process with their students. Faculty will be contacting their students directly with directions and details on next steps as soon as possible this week. Please see other, additional next steps in the bulleted list below. These are prudent and necessary steps consistent with those already taken at many of our peer institutions, and they reflect the rapid escalation of precautionary actions announced Sunday night in Massachusetts by Governor Charlie Baker and this afternoon by President Donald Trump.

Please pray for our government officials, agencies and health organizations as they work as fast as possible to provide health and safety guidelines for businesses, institutions and individuals in mitigating this COVID-19 pandemic—a rapidly evolving situation without much precedent. Your patience is also appreciated as we actively evaluate and implement needed changes or workarounds in normal processes at Gordon. I am so proud of the hard work and can-do attitude exhibited by our faculty and staff and am grateful for our students’ and parents’ gracious understanding in these challenging days.

In consultation with local and state officials, our top priority remains ensuring the health and safety of our campus community and the ability to continue our Christ-centered educational mission even as we experience unprecedented challenges this semester. Our web resource page is being updated regularly, and we will have more detailed updates based on tonight’s announcement by noon tomorrow (Tuesday, March 17). We realize there may be some questions that will be asked for which we do not yet have answers, but we are working actively through the issues and will continue to keep this web resource page updated regularly.

In the immediate term, here are the most important points to keep in mind:

  • As we had communicated on March 11, the College has strongly recommended that all students return home and now should remain home through Monday evening, April 13. Our current plans anticipate in-person instruction beginning again on the Tuesday after our Easter long weekend break (Tuesday, April 14). Should circumstances warrant that this planned return to campus needs to change, we will let everyone know at the earliest possible opportunity. In choosing this date, we are seeking to be as prudent as possible while also preserving the greatest chance for students to return to campus before the summer recess. We will, of course, monitor developments closely in the coming weeks and continue to follow the guidance of state and federal authorities. 
  • For students who are still on campus and who are unable to return home, we will work with you individually to ensure you receive the care and services needed, adhering to the guidelines established by the authorities and consistent with good health and safety practices
  • Starting tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, Dining Services on campus will transition to “grab-and-go” with no seating in the eating venues. The Bistro (in Jenks) will handle breakfast and lunch, while Gillie’s (lower level in Lane Student Center) will provide dinner.
  • While offices remain open at Gordon currently, staffing and essential services will continue to be evaluated in line with the latest state and national directives. Gordon staff should review the March 15 email from Chris Jones, associate vice president for human resources, for the current protocols. Should these be modified in the future, we will contact employees directly with additional instructions.
  • We have established an informational hotline at 978-867-4700 that will be staffed between 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. EDT weekdays to answer questions in real time, or to refer each caller (or voice mail message) to the appropriate campus expert to respond during this time. We continue to actively monitor the email account to be responsive to any questions that come to the College that way.

Again, this web resource page will continue to serve as the primary repository for updates and general information as it becomes available. Banners on the page will confirm the latest date of modification, and I encourage you to consult it first before calling or emailing with particular questions.

Finally, in what I realize is a time of growing stress and anxiety for many, may we draw comfort and confidence in knowing the God we serve has been, is now and will always be in control. May we as Christ-followers model his grace and love through our willingness to help our neighbors and each other during this global emergency. I do hope we can together live out four simple guidelines from Proverbs 3: “Trust the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” Additionally Psalm 46 reminds us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” The full Psalm is an eloquent perspective on the current situation that I encourage each of us to mediate upon in prayer as we navigate the uncharted course that lies ahead. Thank you for continuing to keep the College in your prayers even we are praying for you.

D. Michael Lindsay

Health Precautions ➔
Please direct additional questions to

March 11, 2020 Update

The following update was shared with the Gordon community on March 11.

Given the uncertainties around the spread of the coronavirus and the need to further plan for contingencies in how best to continue the semester, Gordon College will delay the return of residential undergraduate students to campus by a full week, with the anticipation that classes will resume on Monday, March 23 in either an in-person or, if warranted, in an online format. Gordon joins a number of other universities in Massachusetts in taking additional action this week, as it is spring break for many, and the health risks of this particular illness are heightened by large numbers of students traveling back to highly residential campuses after traveling. The leadership team at Gordon and a task force drawn from a variety of departments continues meeting regularly and will be providing additional communications related to this decision as action steps are finalized. For now, here are the key aspects:

What is most important for me to understand right now?

  • We are asking all undergraduate residential students to return to or stay at home at the end of this week rather than returning to campus. Students who, for a variety of reasons, are unable to return home or are otherwise obligated to remain on campus should notify the College using this form and we will follow up with you.
  • Campus will remain open and operational. Healthy faculty and staff are expected to continue work as normal. The Library, Dining Services, Counseling Center, Academic Success Center, Health Center and other resources will remain operational to accommodate the small population on campus.
  • Should any faculty or staff member have current symptoms of flu-like illness of any kind, please stay home until you are symptom-free. 
  • Existing online courses at the undergraduate level will continue running during this time.
  • Graduate students will hear directly from their program director about any changes to their schedule.
  • Campus events, including athletic games and admissions visit days, prior to March 23 have been cancelled unless they have received permission from Gordon’s Senior Working Group (the key leadership team that is a subset of the President’s Cabinet). 
  • No overnight visitors will be permitted on campus during this time. 
  • Last week Gordon took action with students studying abroad through the Gordon in Orvieto, Italy, program bringing them back to the U.S. (but not to campus) when the CDC moved Italy to the Level 3 watch designation. Students who are studying abroad through third-party programs should follow the direction of those programs at this time. The Global Education Office is carefully monitoring all locations where Gordon students are studying and will be in contact with them on a case-by-case basis.
  • All official College travel to Level 3 countries has been cancelled. All other international travel is discouraged and requires advanced approval from the Senior Working Group. We encourage each person to weigh the risk of domestic travel and postpone any unnecessary trips.
  • As always, we continue to urge the Gordon community—whether on campus, at home or traveling—to continue practicing good health and hygiene habits as recommended by the CDC.

How and why did Gordon make the decision to delay students’ return to campus?

We understand that this decision greatly impacts our students and families. Please be assured that this was not taken lightly and was made for the health, safety and wellbeing of our campus community. A task force of staff and administrators has been meeting all week (and for several weeks prior) to monitor the situation and make plans. The situation on a national level is still very fluid, and the task force will continue to monitor closely and adapt as needed.

What is happening in Massachusetts?

This week Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency for the Commonwealth. According to the Governor this does not suggest our situation has reached a critical state, but the emergency classification allows for more flexibility to cancel large events or deploy resources to prevent the spread of and protect residents from the coronavirus. This decision—and the alternate arrangements that many organizations are making at this point—are intended to “flatten the curve,” to preemptively slow the spread of the disease well before it becomes a national crisis that might risk overwhelming medical care facilities. Gordon is following the lead of state and local officials whose actions are working to slow the spread of the coronavirus and keep its infection rate within the capacity of the healthcare systems.

What are the next steps?

The College is using this one-week “pause” to finalize plans for increased safety and protection on campus, including significant changes to Dining Services operations to convert self-serve stations into served stations and enhancing sanitation through Physical Plant with stronger cleaning products. The time will also be used to prepare for the possibility of moving courses online if the coronavirus situation requires a more significant adjustment to the spring semester schedule. The next scheduled update on the coronavirus situation and its impact on the Gordon community will be Friday, March 20.


Health Precautions ➔

Please direct additional questions to

March 9, 2020 Update

Situation at a Glance

Gordon College is closely monitoring the spread and related health concerns with the coronavirus disease—known formally as COVID-19. While there are no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Gordon College and risk in our area of Massachusetts remains low at present, we will continue to appropriately heed the advice of our local, state and national health officials as this situation evolves. We ask all individuals to practice good health habits to help maintain the health and wellness of the Gordon community.

Domestic and International Travel

All Gordon travel to a “CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice” country is restricted until further notice.

Students (and faculty/staff) traveling from countries designated by the CDC as having a Level 3 Travel Health Notice—currently China, Italy, South Korea, and Iran—need to complete a precautionary 14-day self-isolation and evaluation period off campus. Follow CDC guidelines whether or not you exhibit any symptoms. Travel to non-Level 3 locations may not include layovers in Level 3 countries.

Visitors to Campus

Individuals traveling from a country with a CDC Level 3 restriction may not visit campus until they complete a 14-day self-isolation immediately following their arrival in the United States.

Events on Campus

Gordon-sponsored events that bring together large numbers of community members will be closely monitored by college administration.

Leave from Work or Classes

In conjunction with recommendations from the CDC, we strongly encourage students (and faculty/staff) experiencing flu like symptoms to stay home until you are free from fever or other symptoms of acute respiratory illness for at least 24 hours.

Campus Precautions and Preparation 

As spread of the coronavirus worldwide continues, the CDC is advising health professionals locally to practice containment protocols. Given their suggestions, as of March 16, 2020, our Health Center will no longer allow walk-ins. An appointment will need to be made in advance and only those with appointments will be given access to the Health Center. This will allow the nurse to screen patients over the phone for potential risk factors of coronavirus prior to coming to the Center and inadvertently exposing others to possible infection. The phone number to call to schedule an appointment is 978-867-4300.

We have also convened a task force comprised of Cabinet administrators as well as staff from the Health Center, HR, Gordon police, College Communications, the Registrar’s Office and Student Life to prepare contingencies for managing the campus physical environment—such as taking extra measures in sanitizing living spaces and public areas around campus—and planning for any changes on campus should they become necessary in the coming weeks.

Further Reading

Common sense health precautions and additional references ➔

March 5, 2020 Update

Situation at a Glance

Gordon College administrators, Health Center medical staff and Student Life teams are closely monitoring the spread and related health concerns with the coronavirus disease—known formally as COVID-19—which originated in mainland China in December of 2019. While there are no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Gordon College and risk in our area of Massachusetts remains low at present, we will continue to appropriately heed the advice of our local, state and national health officials as this situation evolves. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) resources on COVID-19 serve as a “barometer” in both detailed information on the illness and updates on its spread globally, as well as a reliable means for the College to assess levels of risk and needed precautions to ensure the safety of Gordon students, faculty and staff both here and abroad.

We have created this resource as a real-time reference that will be updated regularly as needed as the College continues to track and assess the progression of this health threat. All Gordon students received a spring break travel advisory by email on Monday, March 2, which contained many of the updates and prevention tips below. As the situation develops further, they will receive additional information when they return to campus around March 15 (classes resume on the 16th). Similar updates have also been provided to faculty and staff. 

International Travel Advisory and Gordon’s Global Programs

The most immediate concerns involve international countries under CDC watch or travel advisory, and Gordon has taken steps to modify or change global programs and trips planned or in process for this spring semester. Students, faculty and staff impacted by these changes have already been notified and informed of alternate options. Here is the latest summary:

Gordon in Orvieto
The College suspended the spring semester’s program in Orvieto as of March 6, 2020, returning the 17 students in the program to their respective homes prior to spring break week. This decision was driven by an abundance of caution, as the students were less than two weeks into their semester program and had not yet traveled to other areas of Italy. There was also no active coronavirus health threat in Orvieto. However, the CDC had already recommended that universities consider pulling back students from international programs, particularly in countries with an active escalation of the coronavirus. Italy was added to the Level 3 (restrict non-essential travel) designation on February 29, 2020, which impacted our ability to send faculty as planned to Orvieto. Some northern areas of the country are already at Level 4 (essentially in a quarantine state). A majority of schools with programs in Italy were already taking similar measures in pulling out students. The main concern was the difficulty predicting the impact on Orvieto and our program should the local (Umbria) area exhibit signs of spread of the virus, with students then unable to travel outside the facility. A large appeal and integral part of the program is the ability to explore greater Italy. Students in the program (11 of whom are from Gordon) will be able to complete their current four-credit course online over the next two weeks. All students are pre-approved to join either the fall 2020 or spring 2021 cohort in Orvieto if they desire or will also have the option of returning to Gordon’s campus to complete the remaining 12 credits for this semester.  

Impact on Other Gordon International Trips 
A planned spring break mission trip to the Philippines was cancelled, as was a Gordon music group visit to Taiwan. A School of Education trip to the United Arab Emirates was postponed to a later date. Other trips planned for future months will be evaluated as needed. 

International Travel Advisory Provided to Campus
As a preparatory precaution, on March 2 we shared a secure and simple self-reporting database for international travel, requesting all students (and faculty/staff) with personal international travel plans for spring break to notify the College via the web form. It is important to for campus community members to understand that anyone traveling back after spring break from countries designated by the CDC as having a “Level 3 Travel Health Notice”—currently China, Italy, South Korea, and Iran— will need to complete a precautionary 14-day self-isolation and evaluation period off campus before they can return to campus. You can find complete details here, and a full explanation of how a self-quarantine process works.

Spring Break Athletics Trips 
As domestic travel is currently not considered a risk, spring athletic teams and coaching staffs will be traveling for competitions and will be more vigilant than usual in maintaining good hygiene and wellness practices while keeping apprised of changes in regional health advisories, if any, from state and local health officials. Women’s Softball and Men’s Baseball teams will travel to central Florida for the week. Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams will be in Hilton Head, South Carolina. The Men’s Lacrosse team will spend part of the week in Pennsylvania, and Women’s Lacrosse will visit for three days with Manhattanville College in Westchester County, New York. 

Campus Precautions and Preparation 

As spread of the coronavirus worldwide continues, the CDC is advising health professionals locally to practice containment protocols. Given their suggestions, as of March 16, 2020, our Health Center will no longer allow walk-ins. An appointment will need to be made in advance and only those with appointments will be given access to the Health Center. This will allow the nurse to screen patients over the phone for potential risk factors of coronavirus prior to coming to the Center and inadvertently exposing others to possible infection. The phone number to call to schedule an appointment is 978-867-4300.

We have also convened a task force comprised of Cabinet administrators as well as staff from the Health Center, HR, Gordon police, College Communications, the Registrar’s Office and Student Life to prepare contingencies for managing the campus physical environment—such as taking extra measures in sanitizing living spaces and public areas around campus—and planning for any changes on campus should they become necessary in the coming weeks.