Students at Trinity Lutheran College returned to class Monday to start the spring semester.
On Tuesday, they learned this semester would be their last.
The school will cease all instruction May 7, said Jim Lindus, who was appointed to the position of executive director of the private college on Thursday.
“The business model we have is not sustainable, not with the number of students we have,” Lindus said.
Trinity Lutheran has 166 students enrolled for the spring semester, he said, including 55 seniors.
There will be a graduation ceremony for the current class of seniors, Lindus said.
Likewise, no classes or staff will be cut before the final date, he said.
For the underclassmen, he said, “we are going all-out to have arrangements with other colleges and universities to receive them.”
“All the focus is now on the students,” Lindus said. “Everyone has been kind of counseling and drying tears with the kids.”
The school’s president, John Reed, submitted his resignation last week and it was accepted by the school’s board of directors over the weekend, Lindus said.
Since the school’s founding 72 years ago, “it’s always sort of lived on the edge,” Lindus said.
“It’s really hard to keep a college open with less than 300 students,” he said.
Trinity Lutheran moved to Everett in 2008 from Issaquah. The school was founded in 1944 as an arm of the Minneapolis-based Lutheran Bible Institute.
Hopes ran high in recent years as the school purchased a parking lot on Rockefeller Avenue to be the future site of a new dormitory for 125 students.
In early 2014, Reed projected enrollment would rise to 525 students in the coming five years.
The housing project, contracted to Koz Development of Snohomish, was approved by the city council, but construction never started.
A previous location for the dorm fell through in 2014 when the asking price for the property skyrocketed.
There were earlier signs of financial trouble, however. In 2009, shortly after moving to Everett and while the region was mired in recession, the school cut some staff and reduced some faculty hours as a cost-containing measure.
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