Wilkes University and King’s College Announce Plans to Welcome Students to Campus This Fall

by Web Services
John Wilkes Statue

Under a new model, Wilkes-Barre’s downtown institutions 
will start and end their fall semesters early.

Wilkes University and King’s College today announced plans to welcome students back to their respective campuses for in-person instruction this fall. The institutions will start their fall semesters one week early, on Monday, Aug. 24, and conclude face-to-face classes by Thanksgiving. 

Wilkes and King’s will both forgo traditional time off for Labor Day and fall break. Beginning and ending the semester earlier than usual, without breaks, will help minimize the chances for students to bring the coronavirus back to campus from outside the immediate community.

In announcing their plans, Wilkes University President Greg Cant, Ph.D., and King’s College President Rev. John Ryan, C.S.C., Ph.D., reinforced that the health and safety of students, faculty and staff, and the greater Wilkes-Barre community, were of top importance. This was a determining factor in adopting the same approach.

“We know that our first-year and returning students, as well as our faculty and staff, are eager to return to campus life,” said Cant. “Our COVID-19 task force has been working to establish campus protocols that will enable us to resume in-person instruction, while protecting the health of our community. The fall semester will require our patience, creativity and resolve. But we will get through this together. And together, we will enjoy all the benefits of the Wilkes experience.”  

Father Ryan remarked, “The in-person learning experience is at the heart of King’s College’s mission. We provide personal attention to student formation in a nurturing community. We form graduates who will champion the inherent dignity of every person and will mobilize their talents and professional skills to serve the common good. And we transform hearts and minds with zeal in communities of hope. Our mission is achieved through personal interactions between faculty and staff and students. Members of our community did outstanding work this past semester to quickly transition to distance learning and continue to provide a high-quality education to our students; I am hopeful that through careful planning and thoughtful preparation, we will be able to continue our work in-person this fall.”

Both institutions are considering a range of practices to protect the health of the campus community. Those standards include social distancing, frequent hand washing and sanitizing, and wearing appropriate face masks. Specific guidelines about class sizes and formats, residence halls, athletics and campus dining services will be announced in the coming weeks based on guidance from national, state and local health officials and the recommendations of COVID-19 leadership teams at each institution. 

Cant, who started at Wilkes on May 26, is the University’s seventh president. He comes to Wilkes from Montclair State University in New Jersey where he served as dean of the Feliciano School of Business. 

“Today marks the end of just my second week at Wilkes,” said Cant. “ I look forward to the day that I can welcome students, faculty and staff back to campus. We fulfill our mission best when we are together as a community, and we are committed to ensuring that our students receive all the advantages and opportunities of a Wilkes education.”

For Wilkes information, visit www.wilkes.edu/fall2020. Media may contact Gabrielle D’Amico, executive director of communications, at (570) 592-7839 or gabrielle.damico@wilkes.edu.

For King’s information, visit www.kings.edu/mykings/covid-19-information. Media may contact Rev. Thomas Looney, C.S.C., Ph.D., AVP for Academic Success, at (570) 208-5836 or  thomaslooney@kings.edu.

About Wilkes University
Wilkes University is a private, independent, non-sectarian institution of higher education dedicated to academic and intellectual excellence through mentoring in the liberal arts, sciences and professional programs. Founded in 1933, Wilkes is on a mission to create one of the nation’s finest doctoral universities, offering all of the programs, activities and opportunities of a large university in the intimate, caring and mentoring environment of a small college, open to all who show promise. The Economist named Wilkes 25th in the nation for the value of its education for graduates. In addition to 46 majors, Wilkes offers 24 master’s degree programs and five doctoral/terminal degree programs, including the doctor of philosophy in nursing, doctor of nursing practice, doctor of education, doctor of pharmacy, and master of fine arts in creative writing. Learn more at www.wilkes.edu.

About King’s College 
King’s College is a Catholic institution of higher education animated and guided by the Congregation of Holy Cross. King’s pursues excellence in teaching, learning, and scholarship through a rigorous core curriculum, major programs across the liberal arts and sciences, nationally-accredited professional programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and personal attention to student formation in a nurturing community. Learn more at www.kings.edu

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