All Updates

Message to alumni

July 31, 2020

Dear WashU Alumni: 

I am reaching out today with information about Washington University’s current plan for bringing students, faculty, and staff back to the Danforth Campus this fall. The plan is designed to ensure that WashU can continue delivering a first-rate teaching, research, and learning experience while prioritizing the safety, health, and well-being of our university community. We want to keep you apprised of our intentions because you belong to our community.

After several months of close collaboration with WashU’s infectious disease experts, we have decided to implement the following measures to help deter the spread of COVID-19 on campus. We will remain agile and ready to pivot as circumstances change.

  • Requirements such as wearing face coverings and physical distancing.
  • Protocols for screening and responding to COVID-19 cases, including testing, contact tracing, and guidelines for quarantine.
  • A hybrid format for academic instruction with some courses offered online and others in the classroom.
  • Reduction in residential housing population density.
  • Changes to campus activities, including limiting the size of outdoor gatherings and discouraging indoor gatherings.

In keeping with the university’s precautions surrounding COVID-19, we regrettably have had to cancel most in-person alumni-related programming through the end of 2020. In its place, however, we are offering virtual events and opportunities for alumni and friends to connect with WashU—and each other—during this crisis. Given recommendations to physically distance or stay at home, we recognize that meaningful connection with the people and organizations we care about is critically important. 

WashU alumni and students have a special connection because they share similar experiences. Like you, our students chose WashU to develop their passions, form lifelong relationships, and prepare themselves for purposeful careers. While this semester will be unlike any we have seen, we remain committed to preserving these hallmarks of a WashU education while protecting the health and safety of everyone on campus. 

We are grateful for your moral support and encouragement in light of the significant challenges and sacrifices our students face. WashU is a stronger university because we are in this together.


Pamella A. Henson
Executive Vice Chancellor
University Advancement

Please visit the WashU Together website for the full fall semester plan and for more information and updates on the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.