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Manchester University announces plan to open in fall 2020

Dave McFaddenPresident Dave McFadden announced today (Thursday, May 21) that Manchester University is moving forward to open its North Manchester and Fort Wayne campuses in fall 2020.

“After careful consideration and weighing a number of options, Manchester University plans to open its campuses in fall 2020,” he said in emails to students, faculty and staff.

“I want to thank you once again for your resilience, flexibility and granting grace during trying times,” he said.

“The health, safety and well-being of students and everyone in the Manchester community remain top priorities, and we are developing strategies to deal with physical distancing, cleaning, use of masks, additional technical equipment and more when we return to campus. We are using local, state and federal health guidelines, as well as the expertise of our own health-care experts, to set up the best practices possible,” McFadden said.

Before students and employees return, the University will provide online training to share what the expectations are and what individuals can do to reduce risks in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While this schedule might need to change based on what transpires with COVID-19, and state and federal guidelines for higher education, making this announcement now gives everyone time to plan for fall 2020,” the president said. 

The University anticipates bringing students back to each of its campuses using its standard timeline, starting in August. Some students arrive on campus as early as two weeks before the start of classes.

In-person classes  for most students will begin Sept. 2. The Pharmacy Program fall semester begins Aug. 31. Like many schools, Manchester will move to remote teaching and learning after Thanksgiving. The semester will end Dec. 18. “Finishing the last two weeks of the semester remotely will minimize student travel to and from potential hot spots over Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving break will be extended to a full week, allowing additional time for students to travel home.”

Spartans UnitedTo see the three-phase reopening plan leading up to the first day of classes, visit

McFadden leads the COVID-19 response team at Manchester, which meets regularly and includes key members of the staff and faculty. Abby Van Vlerah, vice president for Student Life, leads the work group that recommended the plan to reopen.

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Manchester University, with campuses in North Manchester and Fort Wayne, Ind., provides vibrant and transformative student experiences. Learn more at

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Manchester University respects the infinite worth of every individual and graduates persons of ability and conviction who draw upon their education and faith to lead principled, productive, and compassionate lives that improve the human condition.

May 21, 2020