March 25 Update to Alumni on HMC Coronavirus Response

Dear Alumni,

Thank you for your patience and support as Harvey Mudd College navigates these challenging times. We hope that you and your families are well and that you are following local, state and federal public health advice and guidance. Many of you will have seen or heard about Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order late last week closing all non-essential businesses and asking all Californians to stay at home. In addition, we received guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health that provided additional information. Given these announcements, we wanted to provide you with an update on where things stand at HMC. As of the time of writing this letter, there are no known cases of COVID-19 at Harvey Mudd College. However, there has been one confirmed case in Claremont.

Supporting Online Instruction

  • As we announced on March 11, Harvey Mudd extended Spring Break by one week as our faculty and staff transition to online delivery of all courses for the second half of the spring semester. We also encouraged all students who were able to return home to do so and as of today, there are just over 50 students living on campus.
  • The governor’s executive order provides an exemption for colleges and universities to continue having essential faculty and staff work to support distance learning and other critical activities. We have strongly encouraged most faculty and staff to work from home and have provided the resources for them to do so.
  • We have given faculty latitude in how they will handle grading for courses, and they have received suggestions from the Faculty Executive Committee on ways they can ensure students are able to complete their work with as little stress as possible during these difficult times.

Supporting Our Students

  • The College is providing prorated refunds for room and board to all students who have left campus to continue their studies from home. Given the economic struggles facing many of our students and families right now, we felt it was important for us to be able to assist them in whatever way possible.
  • We plan to continue paying all students on federal work study for the remainder of the semester. Our hope is that many of these students will be able to work remotely. For those who are not able to do so, the College will continue to pay them so as not to cause undue financial hardship on the student or their families.
  • Given our continued need for tutoring and grutoring, the College will be asking students who are comfortable working remotely to do so.
  • The Division of Student Affairs is already working on plans to provide virtual workshops for students and their families. We also are exploring options for providing students with a virtual career fair this year since we cannot host one on campus.
  • While it is still too early to know whether we will be able to offer in-person summer research this year, President Klawe has committed that students who can work remotely for their research projects will be paid for the full 10 weeks of work.
  • Ways you can help: We are working with the Offices of Admission and Career Services to develop a list of alumni who would be willing to serve as resources for our admitted, current and graduating students. If you would be willing to connect with students via phone, email, social media or videoconference, please let us know online or email alumni@hmc.edu.

Supporting Our Faculty and Staff

  • We are committed to supporting our staff and faculty, particularly hourly staff and those on the front lines of helping our students from Facilities and Maintenance and Dining Services. The College has committed to paying all employees as normal through the end of this fiscal year, regardless of whether they are able to complete work from home or not.
  • The staff in Computing and Information Services is providing additional support to faculty on how to transition courses online and what tools and resources exist to help them do so. We are offering virtual workshops for faculty during the break to provide help and support and have provided staff with resources and tips on working remotely.

Supporting our Alumni

  • We are very sorry that recent events have forced us to cancel our Alumni Weekend and Reunion celebrations this spring. This is always the highlight of our year in Alumni and Parent Relations. Rest assured, we are looking at ways to continue connecting with alumni, and ways to help alumni connect to each other virtually. Our hope is that we will soon be able to share plans for some interim virtual offerings as well as longer-term plans to reschedule in-person events once this crisis passes.
  • We’d like to remind you that while many of us are working remotely, you can still reach out to us and to each other. Please visit the Alumni Association website where you will find an online directory of HMC alumni or you can join our alumni communities on LinkedIn and Facebook. You can also connect with us on Instagram and Twitter.
  • Ways you can help: If you would be willing to help connect with other alumni in your community through virtual happy hours, check-ins, networking, etc., please let us know online or email alumni@hmc.edu. We’re working to offer virtual opportunities that bring our alumni community together in continued support for each other and Harvey Mudd.

In closing, we would like to again thank you for all of your support during this time. Harvey Mudd is an incredibly strong community of people who believe in the power of science and engineering to address the critical challenges facing the world today. There has never been a more important time for our mission and for the work of our alumni.

Please continue to take care of yourselves and of each other. We are in this together, and we are confident that as a community, we can come through this stronger than ever.

Sincerely,
Jennifer Green
Senior Director of Alumni and Parent Relations

Dee West ’65, P92/93
President, HMC Alumni Association Board of Governors