March 15, 2020

Dear students and guardians of students in Yale College,

I am writing to follow up on President Salovey’s announcement that remote learning in Yale College will extend to the end of the spring semester, and Dr. Paul Genecin’s earlier notification that a COVID-19 case has come up within the Yale community. To address these developments, I’ve updated our guidance to you on the Yale College FAQ page. Below, I will address the most pressing questions that you may have.

If you have been approved to stay on campus, you will continue to be supported with housing and food. If you wish to change your plans and leave campus, you may do so—please consult with your head and dean for assistance. If you are on financial aid, Yale will cover your travel expenses.

If you are away from campus now, do not try to return to your college rooms. With new cases of COVID-19 within the community, we need to strengthen physical distancing by restricting access to the colleges. I will write again to explain how you may retrieve essential items.

You’ve been exceptionally patient and understanding, for which I want to express my appreciation and admiration. I also want to say how sad I feel that your semester has been uprooted this way—although I am confident we will get through this, I know that it is with much uncertainty, disappointment, and sacrifice. I also feel sorry that my guidance continues to tighten in response to the rapidly worsening public health situation. When I wrote to you only four days ago, I did not anticipate that within the week, the World Health Organization would designate COVID-19 a pandemic, the first caused by a coronavirus, and that the U.S. would have declared a state of national emergency.

Thanks to your cooperation, though, most students are away from campus, somewhere safe now, or on their way to their havens. Let’s take this moment to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the heads, deans, directors, and staff in the residential colleges and the cultural centers, and across the YCDO and Yale. Countless people are all working so hard for your safety and well-being. And over the weeks ahead, we will look to our world-class faculty to deliver academic continuity for what Yale does best: learning from each other.


Marvin Chun
Dean of Yale College
Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology; Neuroscience; Cognitive Science