Students and alumni gathered around the Sycamore Tree, jumped into Cayuga Lake, and gave out roses for Moving Up Day

How We Are Moving Forward

Despite the difficult news about Wells College over the past couple of weeks, we would like to share some of the ways our community has come together. Wellsians continue to rise to challenges and reflect the College’s mission and vision.
May 15, 2024

Advancement and the Office of Alumni and Alumnae Engagement

The advancement team continues to focus on two goals: raising the remaining $1.5 million to reach this year’s fundraising goal and planning for a Reunion. Pamela Sheradin, Vice President for Advancement, shares, “We appreciate your desire to support our community. Your support is needed now more than ever. Your gift supports our devoted faculty and staff, to ensure they are cared for and that they have access to job fairs and employment services. Your gift will help preserve the integrity of our legacy as we work to care for this special place in the coming months.”

Advancement is planning for a Reunion that both honors the history of the annual event and gives space for the many alumni to come together and grieve. If alumni can’t attend Reunion this year, the Office encourages visits to campus Monday through Friday during business hours until the college closes. Alumni can stop in to see the advancement team in Pettibone House while they are on campus to assist them and answer any outstanding questions they may have.

Academic Affairs and Registrar

When the college announced its closure, about seven teach-out partners had signed agreements with Wells. The list has now grown to 24 colleges and universities from across Upstate New York and the Northeast.

In addition to helping students access their official transcripts or finalize their credit hours to graduate or transfer, the Office of Academic Affairs and the Registrar coordinated an on-campus Teach-Out Fair in the Sommer Center. Wells students met representatives from at least 16 teach-out partners in person and learned about their programs. Teach-out partners have also organized campus visits, open houses, and virtual information sessions specifically for Wells students interested in transferring.

“This group of students has been grateful to have our support and are excited to be a part of the last class to graduate from Wells,” said Jacklyn Schnurr, Dean of the Faculty. "Other students have met with me to discuss where I think they will be happy, based on geographical location and the courses of study that the other colleges are offering. It has been tough, but I will figure out my next steps once I get the students the support that they need.”

With the faculty, Schnurr said most are still trying to find their way forward, as she believes many of her colleagues thought they would finish their careers and retire at Wells.

“Faculty have been sharing future contact information and are trying to support each other as best as we can,” Schnurr said. “I find it particularly difficult to support the newer faculty who have just learned how amazing our Wells community really is. This whole process has been heartbreaking in so many ways, but I have been so impressed with the care that we have shown one another. The Wells community is special, and it is something that will stay with each one of us for the rest of our lives.”

Admissions

The Admissions Office is ensuring that admission records and financial aid information are available for each teach-out partner as they admit Wells students as transfers. If a high school graduate was accepted to Wells and paid their initial deposit, they are eligible for a refund and were invited to apply to any of Wells’ teach-out partners, where some have committed to providing the same net tuition cost or lower than they would have paid at Wells. Coordinating plans with those students and their families about their options for the fall semester has been an ongoing task, in addition to consulting with current Wells students.

Athletics

The Wells Express women’s lacrosse team experienced a record-breaking 16-1 winning streak this season. They won their championship game 19-7 against Mount Aloysius on May 4, where they became the AMCC Women's Lacrosse Regular Season and Tournament Champions. Many students, staff, alumni, and community members showed up that Saturday to support the team for the championship.

Human Resources

The Human Resources team of Jessica Kolodzie and Catherine Baldessare has worked to ensure every faculty and staff member has access to resources they need before the college closes. For four days in the first two weeks after the closure announcement, HR coordinated orientation sessions and on-site walk-ins with the New York State Department of Labor’s Rapid Response Team to provide an overview of training offered, job search services, an introduction to unemployment benefits, NYS Marketplace healthcare options, and resume and cover letter reviews or writing tips. They’ve also organized a Job Fair on campus on May 22, where more than 30 employers are registered to set up tables in Schwartz Athletics Center and meet with Wells faculty and staff. Kolodzie said she is amazed by the generosity of the Wells community to help one another and the surrounding higher education institutions that want to help them.

“Alumni and HR professionals are messaging us daily with offers of assistance, resources, and leads on job openings," Kolodzie said, “The faculty and staff have been wonderful in these difficult days. I can’t say enough good things about our employees. It’s so nice to know that many organizations recognize their talent and passion and want to hire them.”

Residence Life and Student Affairs

From the Student Affairs Office, more than 40 hours per week of in-person and online counseling services have been made accessible for students, faculty, and staff.

The Honor Awards Dinner took place on May 7, and more than 50 awards were given to students and clubs to recognize their accomplishments. Other spring traditions continued as planned, including a private May Day ceremony, the Athletic Awards Dinner, Late Night Breakfast, and Moving Up Day with students, faculty, staff, and alumni gathering around the Sycamore tree and by the Boat House. Students who work at The Grind hosted a traditional Wells Tea Time every day during the last week of finals as a historical nod to the original Wells tea time schedule.

With the college’s last Commencement days away, Dean of Students Karey Pine said everyone is working hard to not only accomplish goals at a fast pace but also take care of Wells students as much as possible while they need it most.

For continual updates on events that provide resources to our community, visit our Upcoming Events post. For all other information on our closure, visit our Closure page. Follow Wells College on Facebook and Instagram for more content.

Media Contact

Kristopher LaGreca, VP of Marketing and Communications
klagreca@wells.edu
315-364-3350

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