Photo via Unsplash.
Photo via Unsplash.

LOUDONVILLE – Due to caution over the coronavirus pandemic, Siena College announced today that it will extend its remote learning to the end of the spring semester, and will postpone its annual Commencement exercises until August.

The Siena community was notified via email this morning.

“Our eagerness to restore normalcy to campus cannot supersede our commitment to do what is necessary for the well-being of our community,” said Margaret E. Madden, Ph.D., interim president of Siena. “This is extremely disappointing news for all of us, especially the Class of 2020. Each member of the community has been asked to sacrifice, to adapt, to make the best of a situation unimaginable just a couple of months ago. We will emerge from this temporary reality stronger because of it.”

Earlier this month, the College announced that it would extend its March 9-13 spring recess by one week, and move to remote learning effective March 23, with classes possibly resuming on April 14 after the Easter holiday. Following its ongoing evaluation of the coronavirus outbreak, College leadership decided to extend remote learning through the end of the semester on May 4, with final exams May 6-9.  

Annual Commencement celebrations were to be held the weekend of May 16-17, culminating in the awarding of approximately 800 degrees at the Albany Times Union Center on Sunday, May 17. Siena is now tentatively planning to hold Commencement on Saturday, August 15. Details will be planned with representatives of the senior class.

“These celebrations belong to the seniors, and their voices will be heard as we determine a best path forward,” said Madden.

Arrangements will be made for Siena’s residential students to return to campus in staggered shifts to move out of their housing. They will be required to comply with social distancing protocols on their return.

Siena plans to proceed with its summer courses, remotely if necessary. International travel programs this summer have been cancelled. All on-campus events through May 17 will be cancelled or rescheduled. Events scheduled for after May 17 will be reviewed as the situation unfolds.