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Manitowoc’s Holy Family College to cease operations after summer term

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MANITOWOC, Wis. (WFRV) – Holy Family College in Manitowoc will cease operations at the end of the summer term and discontinue all operations by August 29.

In a Monday release, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sponsored Ministries says the decision was made due to increased operating costs, unstable enrollment, and the impact of the coronavirus.

Sister Natalie Binversie, Community Director of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in Manitowoc, said the Sisters made the difficult decision to approve cessation of the College’s operations after careful consideration.

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“Everyone at the College has been working hard to achieve enrollment growth and increased fundraising, especially College President Dr. Robert Callahan. Under his leadership, good progress was made in addressing several years of earlier negative fiscal performance, and overall, he did a great job. However, the tough challenges were made even tougher with the COVID-19 outbreak, and we collectively made this difficult decision,” Sister Natalie said.

“Consistent with our Franciscan Catholic values, we will work with the College community and the community at large to implement closing procedures in the most compassionate, just and thoughtful way possible,” Sister Natalie added. “Our priority is how we can best assist all members of our college family in this transition, especially transitioning our students and trying to help our faculty and staff secure new jobs. They will be our priority going forward.”

The current class of 2020 will be the finaly graduating class. Sister Natalie says school officials will work with other students to assist them in transferring to other schools.

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“This was a most difficult decision, and it was made only after a lot of discernment, much discussion, and prayerful consideration of all the options.”

Sister Natalie added the goal for the transitioning students will be to assist them in enrolling at another college that will accept all of their Holy Family College credits and put them on a path to complete an equal or comparable degree program at a cost similar to or less than what they are paying to attend Holy Family College.

The workforce reduction will begin on June 13 with further reduction beginning on June 30. Any remaining positions will be eliminated on August 29. Full-time faculty positions will conclude on August 13, except for those who will teach the summer term.

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Sister Natalie said the College will work to provide students with access to academic counselors and other professionals to assist them with transfer options and financial aid questions. She said the Holy Family College also will reach out to potential new students so they can make different plans.

“We realize that this announcement is happening late in the spring, so we will work as hard as we can with all the students to help them transition to a new school and make different plans,” added Sister Natalie.

“The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity have responded to our calling to the service of others in Manitowoc for 150 years. While we are saddened by the need to end our mission at Holy Family College, we will maintain our presence in the community through our health care and service ministries,” said Sister Natalie.

Holy Family College changed its name in September from Silver Lake College after a year of discussions, searching for ways to stop falling enrollments.

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