Fall 2020 Update

Steadfast and Resilient

Saint Mary’s plans for a return to campus are guided by our mission, an enduring care for our community, and a spirit of flexibility, resiliency, and innovation.

Through careful consideration, analysis of the available data concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, and based on our experience thus far, the university is planning for the continuance of academic operations in spring 2021. Accommodations and protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to promote the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff established for the fall will remain in place for the spring.

We plan for undergraduate students to return to the Winona Campus for in-person instruction and on-campus experiences for the spring 2021 semester, though with a modified academic calendar (see below). For the Schools of Graduate and Professional Programs on the Twin Cities and Rochester campuses, in consultation with the deans of each school, a hybrid approach, allowing some in-person instruction for select programs with online learning for others, is planned.

Additional updates will be made through the student CommUNITY newsletters to keep everyone informed of decisions as they are made.

Community is a hallmark of a Saint Mary’s education. We are committed to honoring and following safe ways to sustain the valuable relationships among our faculty, staff, and students as we continue to provide a challenging, motivating, and engaging higher education experience within our Lasallian Catholic mission.


For our undergraduates in Winona, we will delay the start of the semester by two weeks to Monday, Jan. 25. To end the semester and have commencement as planned, despite a later start date, we will eliminate Spring Break and Easter Break and will move final exams back by two days. Classes will be held until 1 p.m. on Holy Thursday and Good Friday. The university is planning Holy Triduum services to be celebrated on the Winona Campus, so students will be encouraged to stay. Easter Monday will be a regular class day. Finals will be moved to the first week of May (Monday, May 3; Tuesday, May 4; Wednesday, May 5; and Thursday, May 6).

Commencement in Winona is scheduled for May 8. A decision will be made later as to whether this will be a virtual or an in-person event. But either way, commencement will be on May 8.

For the SGPP, there are no changes to the spring semester or its terms. For example, as planned, there are no classes on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Commencement will be held virtually on Saturday, Jan. 23, as previously announced; and there are no classes on Good Friday or Easter Monday. May and June commencement ceremonies are as scheduled, though a decision will be made later as to whether each is virtual or in-person.

A four-year public facing calendar is available.

We trust that together we can continue to find workable solutions for the many challenges we face. In the meantime, thank you for your patience, understanding, and flexibility as we work to provide the best teaching and learning environments for our students and the best working environment for our faculty and staff.

Together, we are Saint Mary’s.

Watch this video to see some of the accommodations we've made to classrooms, residence halls, the Student Success Center and First Generation Initiative area, and additional dining spaces within the Toner Student Center on our Winona Campus.