Latest Updates

Fall 2021 Planning Update

To the Allegheny College community:

For 206 years, Allegheny College has been a residential liberal arts college offering students the opportunity to learn in the classroom from engaged faculty. In fall 2021, we plan fully to return to this mission.

During the academic year 2021–2022, all classes will be held on campus and in person. While we have had to adapt to the pandemic with remote learning options beginning in March 2020, students and faculty alike have made it clear that in-person learning and the residential campus experience are far more effective for the engaged hands-on learning that is a hallmark of an Allegheny education. Therefore, beginning fall 2021, unless unexpected health conditions should mandate otherwise, we expect that no remote classes will be offered. Residence halls will return to regular occupancy. Athletic practice and competition will proceed per NCAA and ACHA guidelines. Beginning August 1, 2021, all administrative offices will be fully staffed, in person.

We will continue to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus with directed strategies following the most current public health recommendations. After extensive consultation with our local and national experts, however, we have confidence that we can educate our students in person, safely, beginning in the fall. Our track record speaks to our ability to succeed: we have seen no transmission of the virus from employee to student, or student to employee. No Allegheny community member has had to quarantine based on classroom interactions. Additionally, all employees have been offered the vaccine; it is our expectation that by August the majority of our students will also have been offered the opportunity to be vaccinated.

More detailed information will follow, as well as a document including FAQs. In the meantime, we hope you are as excited and proud to receive this message as we are to send it. We are confident in making this announcement due to the College’s success to date in keeping our community safe while remaining open for in-person living and learning. This success is a result of the incredible efforts, dedication, and at times personal sacrifices of our students, our faculty, our staff, our families, and so many others. We thank you for all you do each and every day to make our campus and our College safer and better. Go Gators!

With all best wishes,

President Link and her Cabinet

Cabinet members:

  • Ian Binnington, Dean of Curriculum and Registrar
  • Ron Cole, Provost and Dean of the College
  • Kristin Dukes, Dean for Institutional Diversity
  • Ellen Johnson, Incoming Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • Jennifer Padlan, Director of Human Resources, Payroll and Title IX Deputy
  • Bill Ross, Director of Athletics and Recreation
  • Meg Ryan, Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management
  • Susan Salton, Strategic Communications Advisor
  • Matt Stinson, Vice President for Institutional Advancement
  • April Thompson, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
  • Linda Wetsell, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Finance and Administration

Thank you for making safety a priority!

Dear Campus Community,

In Emergency Medicine, there is great superstition around the word “quiet.” The irrational rationale is that if one acknowledges that there are very few patients at any given time, we will be overrun with critically ill patients. If we follow that logic, I might advise you to avoid looking at the Allegheny College COVID-19 dashboard this week. However, superstitions are based on the belief that events are outside of our control, and I have confidence in our campus community’s ability to control the spread of the virus. Therefore, I write it proudly: COVID-19 has been quiet on our campus! Credit goes to the Allegheny College students and employees who work hard and sacrifice comforts to make safety a priority. Thank you for keeping us together, in person, safely. Thank you, families and parents, for supporting our community during this difficult academic year.

In other news, President Biden recently encouraged states to make vaccines available to all adults by May. I continue to lobby Meadville Medical Center to vaccinate our students and am hopeful this opportunity will arise. In the meantime, if you can get the COVID-19 vaccine on your own, I recommend that you accept it. Being vaccinated decreases the risk of serious illness and death if a vaccinated person contracts COVID-19. It also means fewer travel restrictions, less frequent testing, and less likelihood of quarantine. Also, students who are vaccinated are welcome to volunteer or work in the local community. Please make sure that ACHA has your completed vaccine card on record by uploading it here.

On the wall of my office, I tape up cheerful memes. One shows a man with his hair sticking up and his eyes crossed, with the caption, “frontline provider trying to figure out the 35th policy change in one week.” With that caveat, please see the updated travel policy on our website.

Chin up. We are doing this.

Be well,

Dr. Morrow

Staying focused on our goal

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

I hope this email finds you well. First, an update on COVID-19 disease on campus and a review of procedures: We currently have 13 students positive for COVID-19 and 51 students in quarantine. In the last week, approximately 50 students were assigned quarantine because of close contact with students who tested positive for COVID-19.

A note on medical care: Did you know that the ACHA nurses are frontline providers? They are all locally employed ER or ICU nurses and have been throughout the pandemic. While the 7 p.m. cheers many of us saw across the U.S. and the world last spring have stopped, please feel free to thank them for their service and ask them about their experiences. To this point, while we strive to provide students with an in-person visit every day, this is not always possible due to the nurses’ schedule. On days when students do not have a visit, there are myriad other options for support, including calls with Winslow Health Center staff, 24/7 counseling support and a dean on call. A special shout-out to Sandra Livingston, the nurse practitioner who has been providing care to Allegheny students for years, and has been providing hands-on care for students who are positive for COVID-19 since we reopened last August. She noted severe illness in two students and ensured a smooth transition to the ICU at Meadville Medical Center and provided aftercare when they were discharged.

Separately, we have received requests from Athletics to allow non-students, including families and friends, to attend competitions. We understand this is very important to parents, especially parents of seniors. We also know that other schools have been allowing spectators. Unfortunately, Allegheny College will not allow spectators at athletic events on our campus. Video will be available. As an institution, we have declined visitor requests from families, alumni and guest speakers. Many departments are hosting showcases for students at the end of the year (including seniors). These will also be observed via video feed. We understand that many of you might find this news profoundly disappointing. Unfortunately, it is necessary to make this tough decision to support the health and safety of our campus community. Our goal is to keep our students safe and learning in person until the end of our spring semester, and this measure affords us the best opportunity to achieve this goal.

I know that we are all exhausted from the prohibitions and constraints with which we have all had to live, for a full year now. While it is a joy to come together in person as we are able to on campus, who isn’t tired of masks? Yes, we are all fatigued, but we are smarter and tougher than ever. And here at ACHA, we continue to focus on keeping you here, in the classroom, studying in groups, competing athletically, dancing, singing and enjoying your Allegheny friends. After you read this, please take a moment to share a smile with your roommate, your teammate or a new friend. Because that is our goal: to keep you and your friends face to face.

Gator strong.

Dr. Morrow

Campus quarantine is officially over — stay diligent!

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

Campus quarantine is officially over!

Over the last two days, we tested 300 students in the wide social circles of those who tested positive earlier in the week. No connected positives were noted. Please note: close contacts are in quarantine and are not tested per CDC protocol. A handful of other students tested positive (we were also testing randomly). This speaks to the excellent choices by the vast majority of Allegheny students: you know how to stay safe.

More wonderful news: Grounds for Change is opening on Monday. ACHA and GFC worked together on a safe reopening plan and they are ready to serve you, Monday–Friday, 8–11 a.m. and 8–11 p.m. for take-out brewed coffee. If we consistently see low COVID-19 numbers on campus, GFC will open for sit-down dining in the future.

ACHA and ASG are working together to support students in isolation and quarantine. ASG cabinet members and I had a brainstorming session and came up with an anonymous gift drive. Drop off gently used or new small gifts that you believe would cheer up a student in isolation or quarantine. Nothing crazy: think a Star Wars mug, a deck of cards, or a doodle pad. Do not wrap the item and aim for a value of less than $5. Snacks are okay but should not be perishable. Printed poems, anonymous letters of support, and other creative works are encouraged that are simply of emotional value. Employees are welcome to participate. Drop off gifts at the Residence Life office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays.

The Allegheny College isolation and quarantine guidelines are now posted on the ACHA website. Remember that while in isolation and quarantine, we can help with gathering items from your room, deliveries of books or prescriptions, and other items that students find crucial. If you need specific items, reach out to Marko Sadikovic at

While the last few weeks have been very busy with many students in isolation and quarantine, it has allowed me the pleasure of talking to a lot of students whom I have not previously met. Many of you made me laugh (humor is an excellent coping skill for stress), several of you made me tear up (it is heartbreaking to worry that you may have infected family or friends), and two people sent me art created in isolation. Thank you for allowing me to know you. During this stressful time, Allegheny students remain kind and thoughtful.

We are not out of danger — there are a high number of students in isolation and quarantine, and worsening spread is possible. Stay diligent; email us or call Winslow right away with concerning symptoms. We are here to help.

Be well.

Dr. Morrow

Campus Quarantine Extended

Dear Allegheny College Community,

I am writing to inform you that the campus quarantine will unfortunately not be lifted tomorrow, March 4.

Right now, there are 67 students in quarantine and isolation. Fifteen students are currently positive for COVID-19; this is higher than our total at any time in the fall.

We have noted several small clusters among students positive for COVID-19. In the next two days, we are testing the students who may have been in proximity to these students. We are also testing other students randomly, so if you are invited to test in the next two days, it does not necessarily mean that someone near you tested positive. Contact tracing has been completed, and all exposed persons have been notified and are in quarantine.

As I have mentioned before, coronavirus is easily transmitted, especially to students on a college campus. This is why we follow the CDC’s guidelines for Institutions for Higher Education, which are different than the guidelines for the general public. The goal of extending the campus quarantine is to prevent an outbreak that would force us to shift to fully remote education either temporarily or permanently. We will reconsider when we can lift the campus quarantine at the end of this week.

Wear your mask, watch your social distancing, and stay safe. I will be in touch.

Gator Strong.

Dr. Morrow

Keep up the good work!

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

Last week, 1,184 students participated in COVID-19 PCR testing. Six students were positive.

This bodes well for a safe in-person semester. Congratulations, Allegheny students!

When evaluating the students who tested positive, I primarily noted common living situations and proximity/physical connections to students who tested positive during prior testing sessions in the past several weeks. I did not find any egregious behavior among those who are positive, so if you find yourself ascribing poor motives to COVID-19 positive students, please reconsider. The reality is that this is a highly contagious virus — far more contagious than influenza with a longer incubation period — so people who live in close proximity to each other are likely to infect each other.

There are rumors that dining service lines are causing COVID-19 outbreaks. As mentioned above, I am aware of where our students caught COVID-19; it was not from waiting in line. However, we hear the concern, and we want everyone to be as safe as possible on campus. Therefore, Parkhurst staff spent the weekend refining their processes. Thank you, dining staff, for working hard to keep our students safe.

Rapid Antigen Testing

The rapid antigen testing site is now open. We will be testing approximately 120–160 people daily. You need an invitation to test; there are no walk-ins. Please keep your appointment time. Also, plan for a positive result, just in case: employees should bring keys, wallet, and phone, and students should bring supplies for a potential 10-day isolation. No one who tests positive may return to their workspace or living space. We have a quiet room reserved at the Wise Center for those who test positive to gather their thoughts, call family, and plan their isolation.

Travel Restrictions

The Pennsylvania Department of Health lifted its travel restrictions today. However, the CDC still recommends limiting travel. Allegheny College is a small community in which we strive to keep students living in a congregant setting as safe as possible. Therefore, for now we are keeping our travel policy for employees and students in effect. We will continue to evaluate this on an ongoing basis.

Campus Quarantine

Campus quarantine is planned to continue through March 4. The CDC recommends that Institutions of Higher Education test students who are socially connected or live near any positive students. Over the next few days, we will be administering rapid tests to a random sampling of students and also to students who might have shared a bathroom or other space with a student who is positive for COVID-19. If we feel that we have uncovered and managed all possible areas of contagion before March 4, we will happily lift the campus quarantine earlier.

Students of Allegheny College: congratulations on your low positivity rate thus far. Well done.

Dr. Morrow

Stay vigilant!

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

This email is a quick update to let you know that, of the 154 COVID-19 tests that were run on Saturday, five students have positive results. Contact tracing revealed six contacts from those five persons. That is a very low number that reflects the thoughtfulness of Allegheny students.

The vast majority of students are doing a great job keeping each other safe. However, a few students have been behaving in ways that violate the Gator Pledge. Those behaviors place the Allegheny and Meadville communities at risk and go against the commitment we have all made to keeping the campus safe.

Specifically, some of these students broke campus quarantine by leaving campus. Other students made unsafe choices while being moved to quarantine, placing staff and other students at risk. It is unacceptable to place students, employees, or members of the local community at risk. Students should expect that they will need to go off campus and study remotely if they are not willing to uphold the Gator Pledge.

As you know, we have eased some restrictions (like water fountains) based on the great work of most students. It is important that we remain vigilant in our masking, distancing, and quarantine expectations to be able to ease restrictions and avoid a campus virus outbreak.

Gator Strong. Gator Safe.


First round of move-in results, water fountains, functional groups & more

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

Wow. Just wow.

The first round of move-in results are in:

  • Thursday, February 18: 506 students tested; 506 negative results
  • Friday, February 19: 481 students tested; 479 negative results, 2 positive results
  • Saturday, February 20: 154 students tested; results pending

My interpretation of these opening testing numbers: Allegheny College is a community that cares deeply about each other and about other people.

A reminder: Last semester, our first round of on-campus testing had very few positive results, but our second round of testing revealed a cluster. A group of friends were infected by a student who attended an off-campus party. Don’t do that (…she said in her serious doctor voice). Keep up this good work and stay safe. Protect each other.

In other news… water fountains have been keeping me up at night. ACHA has made the carefully considered decision to reopen water fountains. The data on COVID-19 speaks to much higher transmission through the air, and the CDC has recommendations for frequent cleaning of water fountains, which we will follow at Allegheny College. Students have told us that they find closed water fountains burdensome, and since the risk is negligible, we will reopen them.

ACHA is growing! Dr. Gaia Rancati hosted a project in her class, Neuromarketing and Consumer Behavior, during which students suggested ways to encourage others to participate in safety measures. Dr. Rancati and I are working with students to make these ideas a reality. We are placing 20-second reads in bathrooms to help people time their hand washing, creating hand sanitizing competitions, and moving 6-foot spacing mats to places where students think they should be. If you want to get involved or have an idea, email us!

As you reunite with friends, consider signing up for a functional group. Up ’til Dawn was the first student group to enroll! UTD is a student-run organization that raises money each year for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They typically have a ton of fun on-campus fundraisers during the fall, but much of that was curtailed due to COVID-19, so gathering in person will be helpful for them to be able to connect and support each other in their fundraising efforts. Their faculty advisor, Dr. Alice Deckert, has been a friend to ACHA this year, using her expertise in chemistry and science to give us feedback on our testing protocols and other policies. Thank you, Dr. Deckert!

Keep up the amazing work. It is an honor to serve this community.

With respect,

Dr. Morrow

Pre-arrival testing update

Dear Campus Community,

Most of the at-home tests have resulted!

We have 10 total positive students, including one international student who tested separately.

That gives us a starting positivity rate of roughly 1%, which bodes very well for low numbers this semester. I am so impressed with our student body: you have a lower positivity rate than Crawford County, Pennsylvania, and the United States!

These results give me conviction in our testing plan: starting with 10 positive students in isolation and 10–90 close contacts in quarantine would have put us in a defensive position from day one.

I would also like to commend Inspire Diagnostics for their fast, fantastic work.

Inspire Diagnostics at-home summary:

  • Total ordered: 1,157 — Wow! Great job, students!
  • Total resulted: 1,075 — Inspire tells us that some are arriving today
  • Pending: 82 — Results coming today; do not come to campus until you have a result
  • Indeterminate: 8 — Do not come to campus until you have a result
  • Negative: 1,058 — A truly humbling number
  • Positive: 9 — Do not come to campus until ACHA approves the end of your isolation

Thank you to all who sent encouraging emails and kind words during the last two days! Apologies to all those who canceled flights, lost vacation days, and had other inconveniences. And my heart is with those in Texas who are truly suffering this week.


Gator Strong.

Dr. Morrow

Update on pre-arrival testing and contingency plans

Dear Allegheny College Campus Community,

Hello! It is finally time to welcome students back to campus! With the excellent work that everyone did last semester keeping everyone safe, I am confident that we will have a healthy and fun spring.

Once we get you here…

Right now there is a winter storm in our midst, throwing a wrench in our pre-arrival testing plans. Nobody needs more stress! But listen, we’ve got this. Here is an update and detailed contingency plans.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday:

  • 1,003 students’ test kits were received by UPS and are in transit
  • 94 kits have been received by Inspire and processed
  • 60 students have not been able to get to UPS (most due to the weather)
  • 93 students were found to be COVID-19 negative
  • 1 student was found to be COVID-19 positive (asymptomatic)
  • 7 students did not order a test kit (they are considering switching to remote)
  • 63 students are excluded from testing due to a COVID-19 positive test in the last 90 days

Unfortunately, we expect many results to be delayed until Thursday or Friday. Here is what to do if your result is delayed.

Late test results: We are aware of UPS shipping delays. We are fortunate to have an Allegheny parent who is a UPS executive and has been giving us updates. We have reason to hope that all test kits will be delivered to the lab today. Inspire has staffed their lab to return results within 24 hours of the test kit arriving at their facility. Keep checking your email and phone and stay calm. Once your kit arrives at the lab, we are confident that the results will come back quickly. However, you need a negative PCR test or an ACHA exemption to move in. If your results are delayed, do not come to campus. We will not allow you to move in.

Late to campus: If you are going to miss your move-in appointment, email the Dean of Students Office at so we can find you another move-in time. Move-in dates are February 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., February 20 from 9 to 11 a.m., and February 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We are creating move-in dates in March as well. Unfortunately, given the safety requirements of the pandemic, we are unable to move students in during unscheduled times. If you arrive after hours or your plans change en route, please call Public Safety at (814) 332-3357 for advice. You will need to find housing off campus until we can receive you. In prior years, Public Safety has worked with students to deliver keys after hours; this is not possible this semester.

If you are lucky enough to get a negative result by your move-in time, sharpen your pencils! We look forward to seeing you in person.

If you test positive, stay home, isolate, and email ACHA. If you have no symptoms or are improving, you can likely move in on February 25. Contact tracing will be done by your local Department of Health.

If your test result is inconclusive, you may order another test kit or obtain a PCR test close to home. Please read the instructions carefully; most inconclusive results are due to an error such as accidentally dumping the water out of the test tube.

Some students are asking if they can obtain a PCR COVID-19 test on their own. I hate for you to be burdened with this, especially since Allegheny College is providing you with an at-home test. But if it is safe to do so where you are, then we will accept your own PCR test. Send us a photo of the result or email us with questions, and we will allow you to move in on the soonest possible scheduled move-in date.

Again: you need a negative PCR test or an ACHA exemption to move in.


If you feel ill or are exposed to a person who tested positive for COVID-19 just before coming to campus, STAY HOME and email ACHA. Quarantine and isolation housing will not be available during move-in.

Finally, a big THANK YOU to our students! I don’t want the snow to distract from the fact that 1,003 students shipped their kits back on time! Wow! Great job!

That’s it for now. Again, I am sorry about the winter weather. No one needs more hassle right now. Put on some relaxing music and travel slow and safe — or stay home. If you need a suggestion, try Vieux Farka Toure. I saw him in concert two summers ago and have been addicted since (how much do we all miss live music?).

See you soon. And keep in touch.

Dr. Morrow