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Fall 2020 Update from Father Shanley – April 28, 2020

You are making a major life choice — the college where you will spend the next four years — during a time of great uncertainty.  

On top of that, this is not the senior year for which you had planned. We acknowledge the rituals you have missed, the rites of passage you have lost, and the celebration you have earned, and we share in the disappointment you must feel. 

But it is important that all of us continue to look to a future which, although different from what we expected, will be full of hope and happiness. This is the very essence of faith. 

My faith in providence — and in Providence College — has been a great solace to me in these uncertain times. And what I have witnessed in our community has only strengthened that faith.  

Our faculty and staff have not wavered from their commitment to academic excellence — even in the face of moving in-person classes online practically overnight. Our faculty, staff, students, and alumni have come together to help students and families who are dealing with real and unforeseen financial struggles, illness, and other challenges.  

It is both our current plan and our deepest hope that we will be together on campus in the fall, but it would be irresponsible — and unfair to your family — to promise that until we have more information to guide our decision. We will update you on our fall plans by July 1.  

Please know that we have prepared for several contingencies, with the guidance of health and safety experts and our colleagues in higher education. This will ensure that students are able to fully — and safely — experience Providence College’s signature liberal arts education whether they are at home or on our beautiful campus. 

When you choose Providence College, you are choosing much more than classes or buildings. You are choosing a community of people committed to making the world better through scholarship, service, and faith. You are choosing a singular approach to learning, rooted in the liberal arts and grounded by 800 years of Catholic and Dominican tradition. You are choosing the Friar family. No matter what the fall brings, that will not change. 

Providence. It is more than a place, it is a promise that God will protect and provide for us — now and in the future. 

I continue to pray for your health and safety, as I do for that of our entire College community. We will find a way to get through this as a community. I am confident that we will emerge strong and prepared for the brighter days that surely lie ahead. 


Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. ’80