COVID-19 Communication Log:

November 23, 2020 Communication to Faculty, Staff, and Students

The following message was sent to the Hampden-Sydney community on November 23, 2020:

Members of the Hampden-Sydney Campus Community,

We’re writing to inform you of logistical changes for the post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 testing on Sunday, November 29 that is required for all students. As a reminder, students may not attend class until they have been tested.

The testing location will now be Snyder Hall. On Sunday, students with last names beginning A-M should report for testing between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. and students with last names beginning N-Z should report for testing between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. 

While the College had originally planned to administer a rapid test, we are better equipped at this time to continue administering the PCR test that we have been using since August, which has a longer turnaround time for test results. From Sunday until the test results are received, which we anticipate will be no later than Wednesday, December 2, all students will be required to quarantine-in-place and take the following precautions:

  • Close contact (less than six feet, unmasked) with anyone who is not your roommate is prohibited. Dorm mates, house mates, and suite mates do not count as roommates.
  • Pannill Commons and the Tiger Inn will be open for take-out meals only, and no dine-in services will be offered.
  • Beginning Sunday, the TigeRec fitness center will be closed.
  • Classes will continue to meet. We are confident that the precautions in place for in-person classes – including mask wearing, social distancing, frequent hand washing, and daily symptom monitoring – will continue to be effective at limiting viral spread in classroom settings.

The College will notify the community when the quarantine-in-place status is lifted. We understand that these precautions may feel inconvenient and frustrating, but we believe that this extra diligence is necessary as students return from holiday travel. As a reminder, please do not return to campus if you are not feeling well or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.

We are grateful to all who took advantage of the pre-Thanksgiving testing offered last week. Of the nearly 300 tests that were processed, not a single one was positive. The College will also offer testing to anyone in the campus community prior to the end of the semester. More details will be provided next week.

Best wishes to you and your families for a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. We look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

November 17, 2020 Communication to Faculty, Staff, and Students

The following message was sent to the Hampden-Sydney community on November 17, 2020:

Members of the Hampden-Sydney Campus Community,

In this season of thanks, we remain grateful for your patience, support, and commitment to each other as we have labored together to remain on campus this fall. As a reminder, the College is offering free COVID-19 testing to students and employees tomorrow from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Snyder Hall in advance of Thanksgiving.

While we have taken many precautions to mitigate the spread of the virus on campus, we are also aware that COVID-19 cases have been rising outside our gates. Given that many of our students will be traveling home or to visit loved ones over the holidays, all students will be required to be tested for COVID-19 upon returning to campus after Thanksgiving.

The post-Thanksgiving testing will occur on Sunday, November 29. Students with last names beginning A-M should report for testing between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Students with last names beginning N-Z should report for testing between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The testing location will be the Board Room and Chairman’s Room on the top level of Pannill Commons.

Students, you must be tested before you can attend class or visit any other public areas on campus. We expect results of the test within an hour.

And, please keep in mind that you should not return to campus after the Thanksgiving break if you feel sick or are showing any symptoms of COVID-19.

Testing will also be available following the break for faculty and staff, and more details will be shared soon.

We have consistently heard from students how thrilled they are to be on campus, living and learning together. Even in this era of facemasks and social distancing, our experiences throughout the pandemic have demonstrated the advantages of in-person learning. By enabling us to quickly identify and isolate positive individuals and quarantine their close contacts, mass testing is the most effective way to limit the spread of the virus following the break so we can complete the semester together.

We are also confident that our classroom precautions have been effective at minimizing the spread of the virus in classroom settings. However, we must all remember that remaining together depends on responsible behavior outside the classroom as well. Each of you must wear masks, maintain social distancing, wash your hands frequently, and monitor your health daily.

Thank you—and mask up, Tigers!

November 14, 2020 Communication to Faculty, Staff, and Students

The following message was sent to the Hampden-Sydney community on November 14, 2020:

Members of the Hampden-Sydney Campus Community,

As you may know, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has announced new COVID-19 restrictions that take effect at midnight tomorrow (Sunday). These include expanded mask requirements and a new statewide limit on gatherings that prohibits all public and private in-person gatherings of more than 25 individuals. 

State officials have confirmed that these new gathering restrictions do not apply to instructional settings such as classrooms, nor do they apply to campus dining areas. Regardless, all of our existing precautions remain in place, and in addition to adhering to the new statewide limit on gatherings, all members of our community must continue to mask up, practice social distancing, monitor your health daily, and wash your hands frequently. 

Beginning Monday, the TigeRec fitness center and Leggett Pool facilities will be limited to a maximum capacity of 25 individuals. 

As a reminder, the College is offering free COVID-19 testing to students and employees in advance of Thanksgiving. This testing will be available Wednesday, November 18, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Snyder Hall. No prior registration is necessary. 

Thank you — and mask up, Tigers!

November 11, 2020 Communication to Faculty, Staff, and Students

The following message was sent to the Hampden-Sydney community on November 11, 2020:

Members of the Hampden-Sydney Campus Community,

 Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and the College is again offering free COVID-19 testing as students prepare to return home and many community members prepare to host or travel to visit loved ones over the holiday. This free testing will be available on Wednesday, November 18, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Snyder Hall. No prior registration is necessary. Results should be available by Friday, November 20.

If you are planning to travel, please review this helpful information from the Virginia Department of Health about holiday travel and the following recommendations from the American College Health Association about travel preparations in order to reduce risk to you and others as you travel away from campus.

Two Weeks Prior to Departure:

  • Get an influenza vaccine
  • Review travel regulations for your destination
  • Minimize risk of exposure
  • Reduce the number of people who are your close contacts

Day of Travel:

  • Reduce the number of stops on your trip (pack food and drinks)
  • Delay travel if sick
  • Continue mitigation strategies (face coverings, social distancing, hand sanitizer)
  • Clean touchable surfaces with disinfecting wipe
  • Least risk is private vehicle travel, wear a mask, sit in the backseat if other person is driving and open the windows, weather permitting

Upon Arrival:

  • Quarantine for the first 14 days
  • If quarantine is not possible, stay physically distant, wear a face covering, avoid close contact including hugging and shaking hands

Thank you for your continued cooperation and commitment to finishing the semester strong. Mask up, Tigers! 

October 9, 2020 Communication to Students

The following message was sent to Hampden-Sydney students on October 9, 2020:

To the Brothers of Hampden-Sydney College:

The College is committed to completing both the ten-week and four-week sessions of the fall semester in person and on campus, and it will require your commitment as well. Before your return to campus in August, each of you signed a COVID-19 pledge to acknowledge that you had reviewed and would follow the College’s precautions to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. This message is to remind you of that pledge. We are seeing a recent rise in cases among students, largely due to unmasked close contact and a failure to adhere to precautions outside of class.

Rather than intensifying monitoring or enacting disciplinary measures and residential suspensions to bring about compliance with our precautions, we want to appeal to your sense of responsibility—to your brothers, professors, and everyone who is working to support your in-person education. These simple precautions will reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and keep us together through the semester:

  • Wearing masks
  • Adhering to the no-visitor policy
  • Maintaining social distancing
  • Not holding or attending social gatherings of more than ten people
  • Washing your hands frequently
  • Monitoring your health daily

We ask that you socialize with your peers on campus or elsewhere responsibly, remaining socially distanced and wearing masks; and we recommend that you socialize outdoors in small groups where the risk of spreading the virus is lower than in enclosed residential spaces. Despite the comfort you feel in the company of your roommates, suitemates, and housemates, transmission of the virus may occur (and quarantining is certainly resulting) from close contacts among these groups. It is essential that you wear masks and maintain social distance, particularly in common indoor areas, even within your close residential groups. Residential relationships do not provide immunity from the coronavirus; you should not gather in close proximity to each other, either indoors or outdoors, without masks.

The College will remain open during the short break between the ten-week and four-week sessions (November 5-8) and during Thanksgiving break (November 21-29) for any students who do not wish to return home for either of those periods. You will soon receive an email from the Office of Housing and Residential Life, and you should respond if you wish to remain on campus during one or both of these breaks.

Each of you has a role to play in keeping us together this fall, and you can do that by following our precautions and avoiding close contact with others as much as possible. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we all work to remain together on campus.

Larry Stimpert, President
Walter C. McDermott III, Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty
Robert P. Sabbatini, Dean of Students

September 23, 2020 Communication to the Community

The following message was sent to the Hampden-Sydney community on September 23, 2020:

Members of the Hampden-Sydney Community,

This message is to inform you that the College will begin random sample testing early next week as part of an effort to monitor the prevalence of active COVID-19 infection among the student body. We anticipate that this testing will continue for the balance of the semester. Random selection may be informed by wastewater testing, which is now underway. Individuals selected for random prevalence testing will be contacted directly. Thank you in advance for your cooperation. 

Please review the attached document, which provides answers to frequently asked questions about several topics. Above all, please continue to follow all COVID-19 precautions so that we can remain together on campus. These include:

  • Wearing masks
  • Adhering to the no-visitor policy, which remains in effect
  • Maintaining social distancing and not holding social gatherings
  • Washing your hands frequently
  • Monitoring your health daily

Thank you—and mask up, Tigers!

COVID 19 Update FAQs

August 21, 2020 Communication to the Community

The following message was sent to the Hampden-Sydney community on August 21, 2020:

Members of the Hampden-Sydney Community,

As you know, the College has been conducting testing of students as they return to campus this week, and testing will continue through the weekend as our remaining students return. We will also share information about the testing process for employees early next week.

The purpose of testing is to identify and isolate infected individuals as quickly as possible in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Thus far, we have received testing results from 162 students and have identified 3 positive cases. Two of these individuals are now isolating at home. The third had previously tested positive this summer and further isolation is not necessary, per CDC guidance.* Contact tracing efforts are being supported through the Virginia Department of Health, and as with previous positive cases, those in the community who may have been in close contact** with a positive case are being notified directly and given further instructions. Students identified as close contacts are already isolating at home or in on-campus quarantine space.

The College will continue to share updates on positive cases with members of the campus community while protecting individuals’ privacy. Please note that future notifications of confirmed positive cases on campus — other than to those who may have been in close contact — will be shared via daily updates to a public dashboard on the College’s COVID-19 website (www.hsc.edu/covid19) rather than via mass email. We are putting the finishing touches on this dashboard, which will go live on Monday and will initially include confirmed cases, testing numbers, and self-quarantine and isolation numbers, as well as data about cases in our region. We will notify you when the dashboard is available online.

It may be concerning as positive cases occur on campus. But we must keep in mind that the risk of wide exposure is minimized when a positive case is identified and contained and when we all wear masks, maintain social distance, practice handwashing hygiene, and monitor daily for symptoms. And, two active cases from 162 individuals represents a positivity rate of only 1.23%, which is encouraging.

We have been impressed by our students’ shared enthusiasm for normalizing these measures that are designed to keep us all living and learning together on campus this year. Let’s all continue to mask up, practice social distancing and good hand hygiene, monitor our health daily, and care for one another.

*Per the CDC: “Data to date show that a person who has had and recovered from COVID-19 may have low levels of virus in their bodies for up to 3 months after diagnosis. This means that if the person who has recovered from COVID-19 is retested within 3 months of initial infection, they may continue to have a positive test result, even though they are not spreading COVID-19.” (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/end-home-isolation.html)

**As defined by the Virginia Department of Health, close contact means being within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes or having exposure to the person’s respiratory secretions (for example, coughed or sneezed on; shared a drinking glass or utensils; kissing) while they were contagious.

August 18, 2020 Communication to Students

The following message was sent to students on August 18, 2020:

Hampden-Sydney Students,

We are writing to share further information with you about the COVID-19 testing that is a required part of your return to campus. Please review the following tasks that are essential elements of the move-in process:

  • Complete a COVID-19 test. Before you may receive your room key, you must complete a COVID-19 test upon returning to campus. The tests will be administered on-site as part of the check-in process, and results will be shared with you within 72 hours of completing the test. More information about the process can be found below.
  • Monitor your daily health. Upon completion of your COVID-19 test, begin completing a daily health survey and submitting your current temperature. More information about how to access the daily health survey is below. All students will be provided a thermometer to assist with completing the required daily health survey.
  • Remain on campus and minimize off-campus contact. We are asking that students remain on campus and minimize their contact off-campus during the first week back. Students will not be allowed to have visitors during the first week back on campus and are discouraged from hosting visitors to campus at least until after the second week of the semester.

On-site COVID-19 testing as part of check-in:
In an effort to mitigate the potential spread of COVID-19, we are partnering with Kallaco, a national lab network for integrated testing, to provide testing for all students upon their return to campus. The test kit and analysis is at no cost to students:

  1. You will receive an email directly from Kallaco within the next two (2) business days that will include a link for you to register your student account with Kallaco. You will be required to enter a unique security PIN that will be provided to you in this email. You will only need this PIN once and will be able to set up your own, unique password to continue accessing the Kallaco portal.
  2. During the Kallaco registration process, you will be required to validate the best contact phone number to reach you.
  3. The College will be conducting the testing in batches as students arrive on campus. For example, early arrivals will be tested first, then new students as part of Thursday’s new student orientation, and upperclassmen throughout their staggered returns on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The laboratory will be able to provide results back to you within 72 hours from the time they receive your specimen at their facility for analysis.
  4. The tests will be oropharyngeal (throat) swab tests. This is not the more invasive nasopharyngeal swab tests in the nose. Individuals will be on hand to answer questions and guide you through the process of administering the test.
  5. Your test will be analyzed and results will be posted in your Kallaco portal within 72 hours of receipt by the lab. Check your Kallaco portal for your results. Your results will also be shared with our Student Health Center.
  6. At all times and in all places, students should minimize contact with others as much as possible. Students must practice safe behaviors such as wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, and frequently washing hands.
  7. Upon completion of the COVID-19 test, students must begin completing daily health surveys and temperature reporting found within the Kallaco portal.

Test Results
If your COVID-19 test is positive, you must contact the Student Health Center at (434) 223-6167 immediately (assuming the Student Health Center has not contacted you about your positive result first). In coordination with Student Affairs, the Student Health Center will provide you direction and guidance on the quarantine process. If your COVID-19 test is negative, you must continue to practice established health and safety protocols.

Daily Health Survey & Temperature
Returning students are required to complete a brief health survey each day, as well as to report your temperature. These functions are part of the Kallaco portal. Please log in each day and submit the health survey and the temperature check tasks.

We look forward to supporting you in all of your goals and welcoming you to the Hill.

Contact the Student Health Center with specific questions at (434) 223-6167.

August 13, 2020 Communication to Students

Dean Robert Sabbatini sent the following message to students on August 13, 2020:

Gentlemen,

In just a few short weeks, we will be welcoming you back to our beautiful campus. In a message sent on July 28, Dean Sabbatini and I reminded you of several of the expectations and responsibilities that will be required of each of you this year. The purpose of our message today is to share several points of additional information regarding your arrival to campus. Please take some time to read through this information carefully.

In addition, please review the attached set of Frequently Asked Questions, which covers a variety of topics related to reopening and our precautions, including questions about mask wearing and rules for having visitors.

COVID-19 Essentials Packing List

You have an idea about what you should bring to campus when moving into a dormitory. This year we ask that you also bring several additional items that are related to the COVID-19 response, your health, and your safety. Please bring the following items with you to campus:

  1. A digital thermometer. (Make sure you know how to use it. You will be required to monitor your temperatures every day).
  2. Necessary prescriptions and over the counter medications for symptom mediation (Advil, Tylenol, allergy medications, cough syrup, etc.).
  3. A good supply of disposable gloves and disposable masks. (You and all other members of our campus community are required to wear a mask at all times in academic buildings, classrooms, public spaces, and when in close proximity to other people inside or outside).
  4. A good supply of hand sanitizer.
  5. Antibacterial soap. (You will be required to wash your hands frequently with soap and water).
  6. Necessary cleaning supplies for your dormitory living (cleaning wipes, disinfecting spray, etc.).
  7. A camping chair/tailgating chair (Classes may be held outdoors when the weather permits).

Additional supplies will be available on campus. However, we ask that you please help us by starting the year with a good supply of these COVID-19 related essentials.

We also ask that you please keep your packing for other dorm room essentials to a minimum in the case that the College should have to make the switch to remote learning.

COVID-19 Preparation Training

You and all members of our campus community are required to complete COVID-19 Training, which must be completed prior to your return to campus. The online training module can be accessed by following the steps below. Please complete this training by August 20th.

College staff will be collecting the names of students who have completed this training module, and you will not be permitted to return to campus until this training is complete.  

Training Instructions

  1. To begin training go to https://learn.ue.org/Login2.aspx
  2. Enter your login credentials:
    Username: Your Hampden-Sydney College email address
    Password: Welcome1!
  3. The first time you log in, the system will prompt you to reset your temporary password and set a security question.

You will receive a confirmation email upon successful completion of each course.

Need Help?  

If you have any issues with sign-in or accessing the courses, visit the Support Portal at portalhelp.ue.org Or click any Support Portal link on the site.

You may also wish to Test Your Configuration to ensure your computer meets all System Requirements.

All other questions should be directed to Dean Richard Pantele at rpantele@hsc.edu.

Thank you for your time and cooperation in completing this essential training program.

Student Pledge

One of the most important elements of the College’s reopening plan is the responsibility of our students, our Good Men and Good Citizens, to follow the guidance and policies established by the College. Before you may return to campus, you must read and sign a pledge that you have read and agree to comply with the College’s reopening guidelines. You will not be permitted to return to campus until this pledge has been signed. You can access this pledge at the link below-

Click here to access the Student Pledge

COVIDWISE App

The Virginia Department of Health has launched a free mobile app for COVID-19 exposure notification called COVIDWISE. We are encouraging you and all members of our campus community to download this app. Using a technology framework developed by Apple and Google engineers, the app notifies participants when they may have been exposed to other app users who’ve reported positive COVID-19 test results. The more Virginians using COVIDWISE, the greater the likelihood that timely exposure notifications will mitigate the virus’ spread. And with COVIDWISE, your privacy and personal information are 100% protected.

You can download this free app on the Apple App Store or Google Play. Learn more about COVIDWISE here: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/covidwise/.    

This is an opportunity for each of you to step up and do the right thing for each other and for this community. We are confident that you will demonstrate what it means to be good men and good citizens. We are all looking forward to welcoming you to campus. If you have any questions prior to your arrival, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,
Robert P. Sabbatini

August 3, 2020 Communication to Students

President Larry Stimpert sent the following message to students on August 3, 2020:

To the Students of Hampden-Sydney College:

I write to follow-up on the inspiring message you received from Dean Sabbatini and Dean Pantele last week, and to emphasize that Hampden-Sydney College remains fully committed to reopening for face-to-face instruction this fall. We believe that you will derive the greatest benefit from your Hampden-Sydney experience if we are living and learning together as a community. With your help, and together with the dedicated efforts of our faculty and staff members, we will minimize and mitigate the risks of COVID-19 that come with living, learning, and working on-campus and have a successful academic year. Watch for additional updates and information to assist you in planning for your return to campus.

Health and safety are paramount considerations for us, and we are continually monitoring guidance from the CDC and public health departments, and tracking local and regional COVID-19 statistics. We are encouraged by the effectiveness of mask wearing, social distancing, and handwashing in minimizing the spread of the coronavirus, and we can also take comfort in the advances that have been made in treating individuals who contract the coronavirus. Statistics for Virginia are indicative of this remarkable progress.

Our reopening plans are premised on the considerable evidence indicating that healthy college-age individuals recover quickly and completely and face low risk of serious illness from the coronavirus. However, even healthy individuals can spread the virus to others, which is why, together, we have such a tremendous responsibility to follow precautions and minimize risks as a community. Those with underlying chronic health conditions do face serious consequences if they contract the coronavirus, and we will accommodate students and faculty and staff members who are at high risk, or who are primary caregivers for others who are at high risk.  If you have a chronic illness, believe you are at high risk of serious health consequences from COVID-19, and/or wish to seek accommodations, please contact  Ms. Melissa Wood, Title IX and 504 Coordinator in the Student Health Center, at (434) 223-6061 or  mwood@hsc.edu .   Melissa is the only individual on campus authorized to make accommodations for remote learning.

Like you and your parents, we’ve seen numerous examples of schools that will be offering only online or remote instruction. It is important to note that many of these schools, including large public and private institutions, had no choice since their classes are large and their classrooms and lecture halls and other student services cannot accommodate social distancing guidelines, and/or they are in urban areas where incidence of the coronavirus has been and continues to be high. We are fortunate that we are able to accommodate social distancing in our classrooms and elsewhere on campus and we will provide nearly all of our classes in person. However, we will be accommodating faculty members who are at high risk by allowing them to offer their classes remotely. Thus, some of you will have a class taught remotely even though you are on campus.

Our reopening plan, based on guidance from the CDC, the Virginia Department of Health, and regional health authorities, can be found on the College’s COVID-19 website. The plan details the steps we are taking and the requirements we are implementing to minimize risk, including the ways we are modifying instruction and student life. The opening of our new residential complex sets a new standard for student housing at Hampden-Sydney, and it also gives us space elsewhere on campus where we can quarantine and still serve those students who develop symptoms or contract the coronavirus, should they be unable to return home as recommended or if their doing so would put vulnerable family members at high risk. We are expanding our health services and procuring supplies to support our medical staff and meet your healthcare needs.

To be sure, we will need your wholehearted participation if we are to minimize the risk of illness for everyone who learns, lives, and works at Hampden-Sydney. As Deans Sabbatini and Pantele noted in their message last week, this is an opportunity to showcase the strength of the Hampden-Sydney brotherhood—to demonstrate exactly what it means to be good men and good citizens. Complying with face mask requirements, maintaining physical distance, and limiting the size of gatherings will be among the ways that you will help ensure that you and your fellow students, professors, and our entire community have a successful academic year together on campus.

President Larry Stimpert

July 28, 2020 Communication to Students

Dean Robert Sabbatini sent the following message to students on July 28, 2020:

Finding Strength in Uncertain Times

To the Gentlemen of Hampden-Sydney College,

It is our foremost hope that you all are staying well, staying active, and staying strong during this difficult time. Our world has changed in many ways, and we have all been forced to adapt to these constantly “moving targets” in our own way.

Many of you had the opportunity to view a video put together by Spell Carr ’20 and Dean Pantele in March. In this video, you were each charged to find ways to help our world during these challenging times by offering yourselves up as examples of what it means to be Good Men and Good Citizens. Since the video went out to our brotherhood, we have heard so many stories about how our Hampden-Sydney Men have stepped up in their communities, provided help to those in need, and volunteered their services and resources to help local organizations—all while checking in with each other.

These impressive examples of our brotherhood have filled us with a sense of pride that has reaffirmed our strong belief that Hampden-Sydney College is the most distinctive college in the world and that our young men are the finest in the world. We have missed all of you, and we are looking forward to seeing each of you in the fall.

As the time of your arrival to campus grows near, we once again charge you to renew your commitment to your brothers, your College, and to all that is encompassed in being good men and good citizens.

Looking Ahead

Since the last time we were all together on campus, much has changed.

We have new challenges to navigate as a brotherhood. The mission of the College, “to form good men and good citizens in an atmosphere of sound learning,” is strong when students interact in person with our staff, our faculty, and our College community. For this reason and many more, we will be once again opening our doors to each of you in August.

However, what most of you would consider to be a “normal fall semester” will look very different this year. Our staff has worked tirelessly for several months to develop and implement health and safety protocols for the 2020-2021 academic year that have been designed with everyone’s wellness and safety in mind. In fact, there will be the expectation that each student will play a vital role in ensuring the well-being and safety of the student body and our campus community at-large. This sort of responsibility, cooperation, and adherence will undoubtedly come with inconvenience and frustration at times as we navigate these unknown waters together. However, as Tommy Shomo ’69, author of To Manner Born, To Manners Bred, so eloquently described, as Hampden-Sydney Men, we must be committed to bringing joy to the lives of those with whom we interact, and we will not inflict harm upon ourselves, or each other in any way, shape, or form. Moreover, each student will need to arrive on campus with a clear understanding that personal sacrifices may be made in order to ensure the continued well-being of your peers and our community members. In other words, staying true to the ideals of Hampden-Sydney has never been more important if we are to remain in an “on-campus” environment.

So, what will be required of you?

You will be required to evaluate your well-being on a daily basis.

You will be required to wear a face mask when in class, in public spaces and buildings, and when you are in close proximity to others while outdoors.

You be required to socially distance.

You will need to practice good hygiene (hand washing, hand sanitizer, clean dorm room, etc.) consistently every day.

While these are just a few examples of the personal responsibilities that will be required of you, you will also notice additional changes to what would be considered as normal campus operations. Similarly, you will notice visuals around campus with messages reminding you of the part you will play in ensuring the health and well-being of our community.  We are also asking you to quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus.

We have already announced that our football, soccer, and basketball seasons will be postponed, but our athletics department will be offering a wide array of intramural, training, and fitness activities.  Our High Adventure Program, hunting, and fishing programs already allow for adequate social distancing, and we will be ramping-up our outdoor education programs this fall to provide more opportunities for participation.  Your engagement with each other may also look different. These changes are necessary in order for you and our beloved College to thrive in this environment. However, at its core, Hampden-Sydney has not changed. In fact, this pandemic has provided our College and her students with a unique opportunity to set the example by which all others are measured by.  We cannot succeed without your full commitment to these temporary, but necessary guidelines to maintain a safe on-campus learning environment.

We now charge you to do the following-

Lead by example. Hampden-Sydney men always do the right thing, not matter what the circumstances may be. Your obligation to being a good man and a good citizen has never been more important. What will be required of you next year is no different than what is required of you at any time. However, you will be required to put in more work to ensure the health and safety of yourself and those around you. Set a good example for your peers.

Be good stewards of our community. The health and safety guidelines that you will be required to adhere to have been designed to protect our campus constituencies, as well as those in the greater Farmville community. Always remember that your commitment to being a Good Man and a Good Citizen is applicable at all times and in all places, on or off campus.   

Be compassionate and supportive. Understand that everyone in our community has a unique life experience that carries with it unique challenges.  It is important for each of you to realize that what may be inconvenient or uncomfortable for you could also protect the quality of life of those around you.

Be your brother’s keeper. This is a time for all Hampden-Sydney students to step up and do the right thing. Our mission and vision requires it of each of you. The rules and regulations that will be in place when you arrive this fall will only be successful if each of you complies.  Look out for each other. Find creative ways to stay connected with your peers.  Some members of our community are at higher risk (Uncontrolled Diabetes, Excessive Obesity, Liver Disease, Respiratory Disease, Moderate Obesity, and Chronic Heart Disease), and we need to do all we can to mitigate.

Communicate. As a family, communication is key to our success. If you are feeling ill, please do not go to class. Communicate with your faculty members. They will be understanding and will work with you. If you are feeling ill, call the Wellness Center to make an appointment before you visit. They can advise you on what you will need to do or what protocol you will need to follow. Contact information for some of the various resources, offices, and departments that you may need to contact can be found here.

As Dr. Stimpert mentioned in his message to the senior class, “We are rarely fully prepared for the challenges that life presents to us.” Know that we will rise to the current challenge together. The staff and the faculty are confident that each of you understands why we must do things a little differently this year. Throughout its long history, our College has weathered many storms. We are now appointed to weather this storm together as a family.  Challenges can bring out the best in individuals and organizations, and we are all confident that our College will emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever.

As the time of your arrival to campus grows near, please take the time to review the ReopeningGuidance prepared by the College. Start thinking ahead about what you might need to do, things you may need to bring with you, and conversations that you may need to have with your family prior to your return. The better prepared you are at the onset of the semester, the more successful you will be. We need you, the great men of Hampden-Sydney College, to do your part.

As always, please reach out to us if you have any questions or if there is anything that we can do for you. We wish you all good health and peace.

Respectfully,

Robert P. Sabbatini
Dean of Students   

Richard M. Pantele, ’13, M.Ed.
Associate Dean of Students

July 21, 2020 Communication to the H-SC Community

Larry Stimpert sent the following message to the Hampden-Sydney community on July 21, 2020:

To the Hampden-Sydney Community:

I am writing to inform you that the Old Dominion Athletic Conference has decided to postpone conference competition and championships for fall and winter sports through the end of the 2020 calendar year.  Many factors influenced this decision, but minimizing the spread of the coronavirus and ensuring that our campuses can remain open for face-to-face instruction were among the most important reasons.

At Hampden-Sydney, sports with fall championships (cross country, football, and soccer) will not compete this fall, but will instead compete next spring. Sports with split seasons (golf and tennis) may compete this fall as long as social distancing can be maintained and travel can be done in accordance with local, state, and federal guidelines. Sports with winter championships (basketball and swimming) are anticipating a January 2021 start.

Training and practices will be permitted in accordance with NCAA, Commonwealth, and College guidelines, and there is much that our teams and student-athletes will be able to accomplish during the fall. However, we understand how disappointing this news is to our student-athletes, who have been eagerly anticipating and training for fall competition. We are proud of our student-athletes’ dedication and accomplishments in their athletic and scholarly pursuits and the manner in which they represent Hampden-Sydney. We know that they will be resilient in these unusual circumstances and that they will look forward to competing in the spring.

We also know how important fall athletic competition is for our full community. Loyalty to the Tiger athletic program is unrivaled in Division III sports. The postponement of fall competition will undoubtedly have an impact on alumni and Hampden-Sydney community events this fall, and further information will be shared in the coming weeks as we receive updates and new guidance from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health. We are optimistic that improved conditions around the COVID-19 pandemic will permit new opportunities for the Tiger faithful to support our student-athletes this spring.

The safety and wellness of our students, faculty, and staff members continues to be our highest priority as we prepare for a return to in-person instruction in August. There are many factors that will contribute to maintaining as healthy a campus environment as possible, and we believe this decision is one of them.

We appreciate your understanding, and we look forward to the day when conditions enable us to gather together to cheer on the Garnet and Grey.

Sincerely,
Larry Stimpert

June 16, 2020 Communication to Faculty and Staff

Larry Stimpert sent the following message to faculty and staff on June 16, 2020:

To the Faculty and Staff of Hampden-Sydney College:

You have probably read or heard that Governor Northam released the Commonwealth’s guidelines for the reopening of Virginia’s colleges and universities last Thursday. The guidelines acknowledge that our schools are very different and have widely varying contexts, so each college and university will submit its own reopening plan addressing 26 required items to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) by July 6. Once submitted, our plan will be reviewed and certified by SCHEV, and once certified, it will be shared with the public via our website. The College’s Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT members are listed below) and the College’s senior staff will be involved in crafting this plan and in keeping it updated as we receive new and additional guidance from the Commonwealth, the Department of Health, and the CDC.

In addition, many individuals and offices across the College have been working overtime to develop separate detailed reopening plans in each of our operating areas for our own internal use and guidance. These include plans for health care, training, sanitation, student life, athletics, residence life, dining services, and much more. The Dean of Faculty’s Office has developed an innovative “10-4 Plan” for scheduling courses during the fall semester—students will take three or four courses during an initial ten-week session, and then take one or two courses during a four-week intensive session to end the semester. This will allow our students to have completed three or four full courses by the first week of November.

There are still many unknowns, including whether we will see an increase in the number of coronavirus cases, for example. And, we still know far too little to state with any clarity what our testing capabilities will be or what our fall athletic season will look like. I am grateful to all of you who have in so many ways responded heroically to the changes and challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. Though much uncertainty remains, your flexibility and devotion to the College give me confidence as we prepare to reopen the College for the new academic year.

Critical Incident Management Team:

Core Team:

  Dean of Students – Dr. Robert Sabbatini

  Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police – Mr. Mark Fowler

  Emergency Management Coordinator – Mrs. Jennie Jenkins

  Dean of the Faculty – Dr. Mike McDermott

  Director of Physical Plant – Mr. John Prengaman

  Director of Human Resources – Mrs. Sue Carter

  Director of the Computer Center – Mr. Todd Pugh

Supporting Members:

  Associate Dean of Students – Mr. Richard Pantele

  Director of Communications – Mr. Gordon Neal

  Vice President for Business Affairs and Finance – Mr. Ken Copeland

  Director of the Student Health Center – Mrs. Barbara Kiewiet de Jonge

 Director of Counseling – Mrs. Elizabeth Blevins

June 10, 2020 Communication to Students

Larry Stimpert sent the following message to students on June 10, 2020:

To the Men of Hampden-Sydney College:

We are now living in one of the most unsettled times in the last 50 years. Three months ago, no one could have imagined the impact the coronavirus pandemic would have on every aspect of our lives, and the events of the last two weeks remind us that, in spite of much progress, we still have a considerable distance to go before everyone in this country enjoys equal access to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” We are planning for your return to campus, where you can continue preparing to be the good men and good citizens who will provide leadership for our Republic and further the work of forming “a more perfect union” in the decades ahead.  

I write today to share important information about the fall semester. Since we announced that the College will reopen in the fall, our academic deans and faculty committees have worked to develop a schedule that will provide the best delivery of our academic program while also offering flexibility as we face continued uncertainty about the progression or possible resurgence of COVID-19. The schedule, which we are referring to as the “10-4 Plan,” divides the semester into two sessions: The first is a ten-week session from August 24 through October 30, concluding with final exams on November 3 and 4, and followed by a short fall break. The second is a four-week session from November 9 through December 11 with final exams on December 15 and 16. (Thanksgiving break will run from November 21 through November 29.)

Rather than taking five courses at once, most of you will take three courses during the first ten-week session and two courses during the second four-week session. Our faculty members, departments, and programs have revised our fall course schedule to offer three-fifths of our fall courses in the first session and two-fifths in the second. The plan recognizes that many courses will be best taught over the longer ten-week period, while other courses will be successfully taught during the intensive four-week session, as we know from offering May Term courses. Fortunately, for many of you, the 10-4 Plan will not affect your already-chosen fall courses. For some of you, however, adjustments will have to be made to your fall schedule to accommodate this plan. Our deans will be reaching out to you soon to assist you in revising your schedule.

By spreading the same number of courses over two sessions, we will have more of our larger classrooms available for social distancing. Class periods will be lengthened to give you the same number of faculty contact hours you would have during a regular semester. We are also extending the time between each day’s classes to provide sufficient time to sanitize classrooms and other academic facilities.

This creative and innovative scheduling change is likely a one-time change that gives us a great deal of flexibility in addressing the uncertainty that still surrounds COVID-19. While it will include two separate sessions, we will still have one fall semester with the same beginning and ending dates. The scheduling change will have no impact on tuition and fees or room and board charges.

Again, for many of you, the 10-4 Plan will have no impact on the courses you have selected. If a change is necessary, our academic deans will be reaching out to you to assist you in revising your fall semester schedule. Look for additional updates and information from the College as we get further into the summer and approach the start of a new academic year. My very best wishes to you and your families for a safe and rewarding summer.

Larry Stimpert

May 28, 2020 Communication to Faculty and Staff

Larry Stimpert sent the following message to faculty and staff on May 28, 2020:

To the Faculty and Staff of Hampden-Sydney College:

As we prepare to reopen the College to our students in the fall, it is critical that we all know how to keep ourselves well and to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 among our coworkers and community members, especially those who are at higher risk of serious illness from the virus. The following guidelines reflect instructions we have received from the Governor or best practice recommended by the CDC, and are expectations we have for all of our employees and community members.

Face Coverings/Masks

Governor Northam issued an executive order requiring the use of facial coverings (masks), starting tomorrow, Friday, May 29. When you are on campus, you must wear a facial covering when entering or exiting your building and when you are meeting with and in close proximity to others. Exceptions are allowed for those who have a condition that causes trouble breathing or are unable to remove the mask without help, or if a health condition prohibits you from wearing a face covering. Please note that the use of face coverings does not replace the need to maintain six feet of physical social distancing or other recommended measures.

Stay Home When Sick

Do not come to work if you are experiencing symptoms potentially related to COVID-19, which may include one or more of the following:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you have been sick, you must be free of symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 or have had an evaluation and been cleared by a physician before returning to work. Contact Human Resources if you have any questions about coming to work if you are not feeling well or returning to work following an illness.

Social Distancing

Keeping space between you and others, even when wearing a face mask, is one of the best tools we have to avoid transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Since people can spread the virus even if they have no symptoms or before they know they are sick, it is important to stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people. Employees are encouraged to communicate with colleagues and supervisors by email, messaging, video-conferencing, telephone, or other available technology rather than face-to-face.

Handwashing

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, before and after eating, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Individuals at Higher Risk of Serious Illness from COVID-19

According to the CDC, individuals with certain risk factors or conditions may have a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 infection. Those may include:

  • Advanced age (65 years old or older)
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Moderate to severe asthma
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Serious heart conditions
  • Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
  • Liver disease
  • Severe obesity
  • Other conditions that compromise one’s immune system

If you would like to request reasonable accommodations because you have any of these risk factors or health conditions, or if you live with or care for another individual who does, please contact Human Resources or your supervisor.

Employee Wellbeing

LiveHealth Online continues to be available for all of our employees who need expert medical advice, care, and/or prescriptions but do not require an in-person doctor visit. The Employee Assistance Program is also available to offer emotional support during this stressful period. Both of these benefits can be accessed through video technology available on most smartphones, tablets, and computers with a camera. For assistance in accessing either benefit, please contact Human Resources.

Taking personal and collective ownership of each other’s wellbeing and observing the best practices described here will help minimize the transmission of COVID-19 within our community. Adapting to and becoming good at these practices will also give us the important and necessary foundation for the anticipated return of our students in August.

May 1, 2020 Communication to Students

The following message was shared with students on behalf of Dean of Students Robert Sabbatini on May 1, 2020:

Dear Students,

I know some of you are eager while others are anxious about the opportunity to move your belongings out of the residence halls. We have established a time frame for you to return to campus and remove your belongings. Please know that we have spoken with health professionals who indicated, based on current guidelines and the fact that we have no cases on campus, that it is permissible for you to come back to remove your possessions subject to the restrictions listed below. We will continue to keep the residential environment well sanitized. We ask you to contribute to this effort by following the CDC guidelines, bringing your own sanitizing supplies, wearing masks and gloves, and taking steps to protect yourself, your friends, classmates, and family members by limiting the number of people that accompany you to campus.

If you are not experiencing any symptoms and have not been told to quarantine by medical or health department officials, you should return to campus to remove your belongings sometime between Monday, May 4 and Sunday, May 10. 

Please use the following link to view available time slots and sign up: https://admission.hsc.edu/portal/moveout

Sincerely,
Dean Robert Sabbatini

May 1, 2020 Communication to Students

President Larry Stimpert sent the following message to the Hampden-Sydney student body on May 1, 2020:

To the Men of Hampden-Sydney College:

I write to inform you that we will convene as a community and hold classes here at Hampden-Sydney this fall as we have for the past 245 years. The educational experience we provide is based on in-person instruction in small classes and close mentoring, coaching, and advising. And much of your education, and certainly much of the character development we prize at Hampden-Sydney, occurs outside of our classes as you govern yourselves and interact with professors, staff members, and each other in so many meaningful ways. To realize the full potential of the educational experience we offer you, we must be together as a community.

Many factors unique to Hampden-Sydney make us confident that we can have you here safely, including our expansive rural campus, which is removed from the density of large cities and offers a natural environment for social distancing. The opening of our new residential complex this fall will also give us flex space elsewhere on campus where, if needed, we can quarantine and still serve those who develop symptoms or contract the coronavirus. An alumnus, who is also a current trustee, operates a company that provides cutting edge biological testing services throughout the country, and he is giving us access to his company’s services so we will be able to regularly monitor surfaces and detect the presence of the coronavirus in our classrooms, residences, and the Pannill Commons. And, we are expanding our health services and procuring supplies to support our medical staff and to meet your healthcare needs.

While we are eager to restore the personal interaction that is so important to the Hampden-Sydney educational experience, we will take steps to safeguard you and members of our faculty, staff, and community, and especially those who are most at-risk and vulnerable to serious illness from the coronavirus, as well as visitors to our campus. We will have to make adjustments to our academic program, campus social life, living and dining arrangements, and athletics programs to protect you and all members of our community. Our staff will also continue to receive and follow guidance from the Virginia Department of Health and CDC as circumstances and best practices are established or evolve. Everything we do will aim to enhance our commitment to form good men and good citizens.

We will need your help and the help of everyone in our community in implementing changes and maintaining the health and well-being of everyone who lives and works at Hampden-Sydney. My colleagues and I are excited to have you back this fall and we look forward to working with you to ensure that we have a safe and healthy campus. I know you will have questions, and I assure you that we will continue to communicate with you consistently as we monitor developments and formulate plans for your return.

My best wishes to you as you and your families wrestle with the many challenges that have resulted from this pandemic. As I walk across our historic campus, I am reminded that, with the help of a devoted community, Hampden-Sydney has operated through our country’s Revolution, the Civil War, and two World Wars, and I know that, together, we will see the College through this crisis.

Sincerely,
Larry Stimpert

April 16, 2020 Communication to Students

President Larry Stimpert sent the following message to the Hampden-Sydney student body on April 16, 2020:

To the Men of Hampden-Sydney College:

We’ve reached the final weeks of the 2019-20 academic year and, though we all regret the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, I hope each of you is able to finish well. My thoughts are especially with our seniors, who had no idea that the week before spring break would be their last on campus. When I wrote to inform you that the College would be shifting to remote instruction for the balance of this academic year, I noted our commitment to offering young men a highly personal approach to higher education. Indeed, our mission of forming good men and good citizens is premised on personal interaction—certainly between you and your professors and other mentors, but also with each other.

The end of an academic year is a good time to reflect on your achievements and growth during your time at this special College, and I encourage you to consider also your purpose and what you aim to accomplish in life. This doesn’t need to be an exercise in navel-gazing, it should be a time when you and your friends and peers are taking stock, together, of each other’s opportunities, goals, and plans. Even though you’re not physically together right now, find a way to do that.

I was just out of college when I first heard Harry Emerson Fosdick’s prescription for life: “Find a high purpose and build your life around it. Give yourself to it with all your heart.” This is some of the best advice I’ve ever received. Every one of you should have a sense that great things are possible, that you were put here at this time to do something meaningful and important. That is one of the qualities of our humanity. Many of you have already found high purpose—in your studies, a research or service project, a campus organization, a sport, or a hobby. As you continue to think about your high purpose and the aspirations you have for your life, here’s some advice from my own experience to guide your thinking, conversations, and actions:

Each person’s high purpose is unique, and it may change over time. When I graduated from college, I thought I would find my high purpose in a business career—and then two things happened. First, in my late 20s, I did a 180-degree turn and left business to become an academic, dramatically changing my career purpose. A few years later, I was not only married, but the father of two children, and so being a husband and father became another high purpose for my life. Find, focus on, and immerse yourself in a high purpose, knowing that it may lead you to other high purposes.

We all know what is urgent and needs to be done today. The challenge is to avoid having the day-to-day prevent us from pursuing our high purpose and the bigger goals and longer-term plans we have for our lives. In the recent virtual edition of The Tiger or Quarantiger, I mentioned the importance of preparing, of getting ready, of seeing every day as an opportunity to be moving one step closer to your life’s biggest aspirations. In short, be mindful about making connections between what you have to do today and what you ultimately want to accomplish, and never lose sight of where you are heading.

“Give yourself to it with all your heart.” You’ve probably heard that it takes 10,000 hours to get really good at anything, and there’s evidence to support that claim. To put that in context, 10,000 hours is working at something for eight hours a day, seven days a week, for over three years. So, don’t expect that anything meaningful will come to you without hard work and perseverance.

Finally, everybody needs a plan, but remember that it is often the detours that make life’s highway interesting and rewarding. So, yes, have plans—in fact, have big plans! (As the architect Daniel Burnham once said, “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood.”) But even as you pursue your plans, be sure to welcome the unexpected, and be open to the opportunities that the unexpected can offer. Look for such opportunities right now.

Our faculty and staff members and I are here for you, as always, and we are happy to discuss with you your dreams and aspirations. Seek us out and make us your mentors if you haven’t already. And, reach-out to your friends and fellow students—your brothers. Share with them your ambitions and ask them about theirs. Know how fortunate you are to be a part of the Hampden-Sydney brotherhood both now and in the years to come.

Larry Stimpert

April 9, 2020 Communication to Students and Parents

The following message was sent to students and parents on April 9, 2020:

Hampden-Sydney College Students and Parents,

Given the shift to remote instruction for the remainder of the academic year, as well as the financial impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on students and families, Hampden-Sydney has been working to develop a policy to address the 7 weeks of the spring semester in which students are not living and dining on campus.

For those 7 weeks, the College will be providing credits to student accounts for room and board, net of the College’s cash costs over that period. This credit will apply to outstanding balances or to future bills, and the credit amounts will vary depending on each student’s individual housing and meal plan combination. We anticipate these credits being applied to accounts by Friday, April 10. Each student will receive an email very shortly, at their hsc.edu address, with the specific amount of the credit that applies to his individual room and board combination.

Following the completion of the academic year, refund checks will be issued to students who are not returning to the College in the fall and whose student accounts do not have outstanding balances.

In addition, because a number of students and parents have asked about options for donating any potential refund back to the College, we thought it would be helpful to share that information more broadly. To donate your room and board credit, please email Marianne Catron at mcatron@hsc.edu. Hampden-Sydney will retain the credit amount and send you a gift acknowledgement letter for your records.

Hampden-Sydney students have shown exceptional resilience and compassion during this very trying time. We appreciate your patience and are grateful for your continued support. If you have any questions about this policy or your student account, please contact the Business Office at (434) 223-6223. 

March 30, 2020 Communication to Students and Parents

The following message was sent to students and parents on March 30, 2020:

Students and Parents,

Given the stay-at-home order issued today by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, students should not return to campus to collect belongings until informed otherwise. This is an evolving situation, and as soon as the College is able to facilitate future opportunities for you to collect your belongings, we will provide guidance via email. 

Many of you have already returned to gather your belongings over the past week, and we are grateful for your cooperation with the system and precautions put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our community. 

If you have any questions about this or other residence-related matters, please contact Dean of Students Robert Sabbatini at  rsabbatini@hsc.edu. As always, please continue to monitor your email for future updates from the College. 

March 27, 2020 Communication to the H-SC Community

The following message was sent to students, faculty, staff, and parents on March 27, 2020:

To the Hampden-Sydney College Community:

I hope this message finds you and your family, friends, and other loved ones well and managing this crisis with all possible hope and faith. As you know, we have implemented unprecedented measures to protect our community in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, including transitioning to remote instruction for the remainder of the academic year and postponing Commencement.

Our brotherhood is strong and now, more than ever, we realize how meaningful it is to be a part of the Hampden-Sydney family. This is not the first crisis Hampden-Sydney or its students have faced since 1775. With great resilience, the College and Hampden-Sydney men weathered the Revolution, which gave birth to our nation, a Civil War that threatened the very fabric of our republic, and other national and global crises, while never wavering from our mission of forming good men and good citizens.

As we all navigate through this time of uncertainty, I am grateful to all of you who have offered your support for our students and our decisions. I am also deeply grateful to our faculty members who are engaging with our students in new ways but with their same commitment to learning and to our College’s historic mission. And, I appreciate the efforts of all of our staff members, and especially those in our Admissions Office, our coaches and others who are recruiting next year’s class of freshmen, and the professionals in the Ferguson Career Center who are assisting our students as they seek internships and job opportunities and apply to graduate programs.

We are all disappointed for our graduating seniors, whose final semester on the Hill has been so abruptly altered. When we made the decision to postpone our Commencement exercises, I promised our seniors that we would give them the most meaningful ceremony possible. So, I am happy to share that we will hold our Commencement ceremony on the morning of Homecoming, Saturday, October 24. A Baccalaureate service for our graduates will be held the Friday evening before, as will a reception for the members of the Class of 2020, their families, and our faculty and staff. Our previously scheduled Baccalaureate speaker, Ken Woodley ’79, and Commencement speaker, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist George Will, were able to accommodate this schedule change. I know they will each have a very meaningful message to share with our graduates, their families, and our community.

It is good, at times like this, for us all to have something joyous to look forward to. We look forward to hosting especially memorable Homecoming and Commencement activities in October as we welcome many alumni home and honor our Class of 2020.

While the College’s leadership team and I have had to make many decisions during these last few weeks, we have been motivated by the goal of seeing the College emerge from this pandemic stronger and more united behind our mission than ever before. It is a tremendous privilege for me to lead such a talented group of young men and such a committed and dedicated group of faculty and staff members, and I am grateful for the loyalty and devotion of the very special Hampden-Sydney community.


March 20, 2020 Communication to the H-SC Community

The following message was shared with the Hampden-Sydney community on March 20, 2020:

To Our Students and All Other Members of the Hampden-Sydney Community:

Greetings from the College, and I trust you are doing well. The College’s leadership team has been meeting at least daily to monitor the coronavirus pandemic, assess options, and make the best possible decisions about how we pursue our educational mission while also protecting the health and welfare of our students and all members of our community.  Today, I write to share with you the disappointing news that we will complete the spring semester through remote instruction.  With our last day of classes coming on April 24, the governor now forbidding meetings of 10 or more persons, and the Centers for Disease Control recommending no gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks, we can’t anticipate a scenario that would allow us to resume on-campus instruction or hold our Commencement on May 9.

A decision about when we will hold Commencement will be forthcoming, but I want to assure you—especially our seniors—that we are only postponing, not cancelling, our Commencement. I understand that you and your families have been anticipating this special day for four years, so we will communicate a decision about the timing of this very important event as soon as possible.

With the shift to remote instruction for the rest of the semester, we want all students to return to campus to gather your belongings starting tomorrow, March 21 through Monday, March 30. To ensure a safe and orderly process and to limit the number of people in residence halls at any given time, you must complete this form to select a two-hour time slot in which to collect your belongings. To help keep our community healthy and safe, do not return to campus until you have completed this form and selected a time slot. Additional important information about the moving process can be found on the form itself. If you have any questions or need to discuss alternative arrangements for retrieving your belongings, please contact Dean of Students Robert Sabbatini via email at rsabbatini@hsc.edu. If you need to see any faculty or staff members while you are on campus, please make an appointment in advance. Your return to campus will, of course, depend on state or national authorities allowing you to travel here.

Students with extenuating circumstances who wish to remain on or return to campus may seek permission to do so by completing the Request to Remain on Campus form. Meals will be available for students who are approved to remain on campus.

We are developing a policy for refunding the unused portion of your room and board charges. This policy will be shared with you soon.

As recently as two weeks ago, no one anticipated that we would be making the decision to teach our classes remotely for the balance of the semester. Everything this College stands for is predicated on personal interaction—our learning, mentoring, and coaching, certainly, but also our life together on the Hill—our brotherhood, our codes of honor and conduct, and even our speaking tradition. I also realize that for most students, your Hampden-Sydney years are among the best years of your life and that, even after your first semester here, many of you call this place home. This has been a year of great accomplishment with every day offering us opportunities to take pride in the many extraordinary ways we fulfill our mission of forming good men and good citizens. Just one week ago, I shared dinner with our lacrosse team and coaches. The dinner had been planned by one of the player’s parents as a “beat W&L event,” but just the day prior, the ODAC had canceled the game and we had extended spring break by one week. I share this story because I know those players were feeling that night what all of us are feeling now—tremendous disappointment over the way this pandemic has taken over and changed our lives, but also great pride and satisfaction in being a part of the extraordinary Hampden-Sydney brotherhood and community.

We begin remote instruction on Monday.  In the days and weeks that follow, we will be sharing more information with you, but we also hope to find new, creative, and virtual ways to strengthen and enhance our brotherhood and community. Please reach out to each other, but also to your professors, members of the staff, and me if you have questions, need assistance, or just want to talk with someone at the College. We are here for you.

Sincerely,
Larry Stimpert     

March 16, 2020 Communication to the H-SC Community

The following message was shared with the Hampden-Sydney community on March 16, 2020:

Thank you for your patience and support as we all navigate the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 outbreak. This message is to inform the Hampden-Sydney community that the College will shift to remote instruction for a period of two weeks, beginning Monday, March 23 and lasting through Friday, April 3. There are no classes this week, the week of March 16.

Students will receive direction and guidance from their professors about the transition to remote instruction for each class.

This timeline means that the earliest point at which in-person classes would resume on campus would be Monday, April 6. The College will continue to evaluate this timeline as the situation progresses, and we will provide further guidance about the resumption of in-person classes or an extension of the period of remote instruction.

As mentioned in previous communications, students wishing to gather any essential belongings from residence halls may contact Dean of Students Robert Sabbatini at rsabbatini@hsc.edu. Please know that your belongings are safe on campus and that residence halls are secure. Faculty members are aware that students may not have all of their course materials with them, and they will make adjustments accordingly.

In addition, students with extenuating circumstances who wish to remain on or return to campus may seek permission to do so by completing the  Request to Remain on Campus form. Meals will be available for students who are approved to remain on campus. 

Student Health Services remains open on campus, but we ask that visitors call ahead before arriving in-person. The phone number is (434) 223-6167. We also strongly encourage students, families, faculty, and staff to closely monitor and follow the guidance of public health entities about social distancing and to take all precautions necessary to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

All members of the community should continue monitoring email for additional communications and updates from the College.

March 12, 2020 Communication to the H-SC Community

The following message was shared with the Hampden-Sydney community March 12, 2020:

To the Hampden-Sydney College Community:

I am writing to update you on the College’s planning regarding the novel coronavirus COVID-19. As you know from the College’s message earlier today, we have made the difficult decision to extend spring break for students through Sunday, March 22.

“Unprecedented” is the word increasingly being used to describe this outbreak. This is an apt description that applies equally well to both the nature of the outbreak as well as the steps being taken in many areas of society, including higher education. Given the unprecedented nature of the situation, we must take many factors into account, harnessing the guidance of public health experts, monitoring the actions of peers institutions, and remembering our own unique mission, situation, and charge.

We are committed to our mission of forming good men and good citizens in an atmosphere of sound learning. The decision to extend spring break is one that we believe advances both elements of that mission, giving the College more time to prepare for a return to class—whether remote or in-person—as well as to continue putting in place the most effective measures to safeguard the well-being of students, faculty, and staff, which is so essential for an atmosphere of sound learning.

Below, you will find more information about safety and other preparatory measures that are being taken across the College as well as specific information and advice for our students and for our faculty and staff members:

For the Entire Hampden-Sydney Community:

Travel information: Are you or have you been traveling? All members of the community should continue to update the College about any travel using this travel information form.
NCAA athletics: Athletic contests and events are postponed until further notice. Student-athletes still on campus may remain on campus until noon on Saturday, March 14.
Custodial operations: Extra efforts are being made to thoroughly clean and disinfect public spaces on campus.
TigeRec Fitness: Effective at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 13, the TigeRec Center will be closed until further notice.
College events: We will be evaluating all upcoming on- and off-campus College events and will issue further guidance next week.
Campus visitors: Please note that we do require that individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 or have been to a CDC Level 3 country in the last 14 days refrain from visiting.

For Students:

Are you currently on campus? Students who are currently on campus should plan to leave campus by no later than noon on Saturday, March 14.
Do you need on-campus accommodations? Students with extenuating circumstances who wish to remain on or return to campus may seek permission to do so by completing the  Request to Remain on Campus form. Meals will be available for students who are approved to remain on campus.    
Do you need something from your room? Students wishing to pick up any essential belongings from residence halls may contact Dean of Students Robert Sabbatini at  rsabbatini@hsc.edu. Please know that your belongings are safe on campus and that residence halls are secure.
Are you sick or do you believe you have been exposed? Self-monitor your health and be aware of your surroundings. If you are feeling sick, or believe you may have been in close contact with someone affected by the virus, please consider undergoing a health screening with a medical provider, and please notify Student Health Services at (434) 223-6167. 
Study abroad: Later this month, the College will notify program participants with an updated reassessment of H-SC summer abroad programs. All members of the community are encouraged to continue monitoring the  CDC website for the most updated travel advisories.

For Faculty and Staff:

Individuals who are at greater risk: Your health and welfare are of paramount concern. Initial guidance from the CDC indicates that certain individuals are at a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, including older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease. College employees who believe that they are at a higher risk, are immunocompromised, or live with family members who are at higher risk should contact Human Resources to discuss alternative work arrangements.
Work-related travel: All non-essential work-related travel is prohibited. Please consult with your area’s senior staff member with any questions.

Please continue to check your email and the College’s emergency updates webpage for further guidance. 

The essence of Hampden-Sydney is our highly personal approach to education, specifically the highly personal connections between faculty and staff mentors and our students. So we understand that this national health crisis and our own precautions affect virtually everything we do as a College. The College has faithfully pursued its important mission for nearly 250 years by being resilient and adaptive, and those same qualities will see us through this current challenge.

March 12, 2020 Communication to the H-SC Community

The following message was shared with the Hampden-Sydney community March 12, 2020:

While there are currently no confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) at Hampden-Sydney College, there is now a presumptive positive case at Longwood University.  

Out of an abundance of caution, and after considering many scenarios as well as guidance from the Virginia Department of Health and other public health experts, Hampden-Sydney College has decided to extend spring break for students through Sunday, March 22.

This additional week will give the College the opportunity to more fully understand and monitor the evolution of the outbreak and to continue putting in place the most effective measures to safeguard the well-being of students, faculty, and staff. This extension will also enable the College to be as well-positioned as possible to resume classes – whether in-person or online – on Monday, March 23. 

Later today, the College will share more detailed information for students, faculty, and staff, so please continue monitoring your email for additional communications and guidance.

The College will also provide further guidance by Thursday, March 19 at 5pm Eastern about plans for the resumption of classes the following week.

March 11, 2020 Communication to the H-SC Community

The following message was shared with the Hampden-Sydney community on March 11, 2020:

While the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 remains in the single digits in Virginia—and while there are no known cases on our campus—we understand the concern many are feeling about this outbreak. Hampden-Sydney’s mission is to form good men and good citizens in an atmosphere of sound learning, and this commitment to an atmosphere of sound learning makes the health and wellness of our community a top priority.

The College is continuing to monitor this evolving situation, and we are considering and preparing for a variety of scenarios—out of an abundance of caution and based on the assumption of many public health professionals that the virus will continue to spread. At least one individual at Longwood University is under quarantine and being monitored as a potential coronavirus case, and we are aware that many colleges and universities around the country have extended spring break, closed campuses, and/or shifted to distance learning.

Given the fluid nature of this situation, the College is continually monitoring and assessing options, so please continue monitoring your email this week for any further communications or guidance from the College that could require altering schedules or travel plans. And, as mentioned in previous communications, please report any long-distance travel using this form on the College website.

Below, you will find more information about precautions and preparatory measures that are being taken across the College as well as specific information and advice for faculty and staff members and for our students:

Information for the Entire Hampden-Sydney College Community:

  • Preparation for remote instruction/distance learning: We are taking steps necessary to prepare for and implement remote/online class instruction should a temporary cancellation of face-to-face instruction be warranted. At this point we do not foresee a scenario in which this would be necessary for the duration of the semester.
  • Campus dining: The College has been coordinating with Thompson Hospitality, and precautions are being implemented to maintain a sanitary dining environment and most effectively control the healthy delivery and distribution of meals.
  • Custodial operations: Extra efforts are being made to thoroughly clean and disinfect public spaces on campus.
  • Guidance from public health officials: The College will continue to coordinate with and seek guidance from governmental organizations including the Virginia Department of Health as we monitor this outbreak.
  • NCAA athletics: Chad Eisele, our athletic director, is monitoring NCAA guidelines and coordinating with fellow athletic directors and the Old Dominion Athletic Conference leadership about travel policies and spring sports schedules, and he will keep our student-athletes and coaches informed of developments.

For Faculty and Staff:

  • Flexibility for individuals at greater risk: Initial guidance from the CDC indicates that certain individuals are at a higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, including older adults and people with serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease. College employees who work in environments where exposure is more likely, believe that they are at a higher risk, are immuno-compromised, or live with family members who are at higher risk should contact Human Resources to discuss alternative work arrangements.

For Students:

  • Have you been exposed? There have been additional confirmed cases of individuals affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus at events attended by some of our students, including the recent CPAC conference in Washington, DC. If you’ve attended such an event, or believe you may have been in close contact with someone affected by the virus, please consider undergoing a health screening with a medical provider, and please notify Student Health Services at (434) 223-6167.
  • If you are not feeling well, see a doctor before returning to campus. Do not unwittingly bring the COVID-19 virus to campus.
  • On-campus self-quarantining: The Virginia Department of Health and federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have provided guidance on self-quarantining, and the College is prepared to assist any student who must self-quarantine on campus. Should you begin showing symptoms while on campus, the College has designated a facility to serve as a quarantine location if you choose to remain on campus rather than returning home.
  • Study abroad: Later this month, the College will notify program participants with an updated reassessment of H-SC summer abroad programs. All members of the community are encouraged to continue monitoring the CDC website for the most updated travel advisories.

Again, the situation is rapidly changing and we are constantly evaluating our options for carrying-out our educational mission while also maintaining the health of all members of our campus community. Please continue to monitor your email for any further direction from the College about scheduling and precautions.

And, as always, please continue to follow basic preventative health measures:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soapy water
  • Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your bent elbow
  • Take care of yourself and your immune system by getting adequate sleep and eating healthy
  • Stay home from work or class if you feel sick—and drink lots of fluids

March 4, 2020 Communication to the H-SC Community

The following message was shared with Hampden-Sydney students, faculty, staff, and parents on March 4, 2020:

Members of the Community,
Hampden-Sydney College and the College’s Critical Incident Management Team are continuing to monitor the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. Currently, there are no confirmed cases in Virginia.

As you will recall from the College’s March 2 email, we strongly recommend that students, faculty, and staff not travel to locations assigned Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Warning Level 3 or higher, which currently includes China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea. Also, be aware that those who return from a country that is classified at CDC Warning Level 3 status or above will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days and not return to campus. Following this period, the individual must be cleared for return by a qualified health care professional. The CDC provides guidance here on self-monitoring and self-isolation

An online form has also been created to enable students, faculty, and staff to inform the College of international travel over spring break and beyond. That form can be completed here. As you prepare for any personal travel plans, please continue to monitor guidelines from the CDC and U.S. Department of State so that you are fully informed of potential health risks and travel restrictions that may be in place upon your return.

The College will offer updates to the community as necessary. We continue to urge all members of our community at home and abroad to practice prevention behaviors and hold each other accountable in following safe and healthy practices.

March 2, 2020 Communication to the H-SC Community

The following message was shared with Hampden-Sydney students, faculty, staff, and parents on March 2, 2020:

Members of the Community,
This message is to inform you that Hampden-Sydney and the College’s emergency management team are monitoring developments related to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and taking precautions consistent with guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

While there are currently no confirmed cases of the virus in Virginia, the CDC has indicated that it anticipates the virus to impact the United States to a greater degree than previously forecasted. Given the rise of COVID-19 reports in Europe and Asia, the CDC is consistently updating travel advisories. The College’s spring break begins after classes on March 6 and lasts until classes resume on March 16, and we strongly recommend that students, faculty, and staff not travel to locations assigned CDC Warning Level 3 or higher, which currently includes China, Iran, Italy, and South Korea.

This Q & A with Dr. Kristian Hargadon may be helpful to anyone interested in learning more about the virus from a member of the Hampden-Sydney community. The College is continuing to monitor this evolving situation and will offer updates to the community as necessary. Members of the community should follow basic wellness precautions, including frequently washing your hands. Please find below additional precautionary measures and resources that may be of use.

Basic Preventative Measures

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soapy water
  • Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your bent elbow
  • Take care of yourself and your immune system by getting adequate sleep and eating healthy
  • Stay home from work or class if you feel sick—and drink lots of fluids