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COVID-19 Response & Communications

Email will remain the College’s primary method of communication with students, faculty, staff, and parents throughout the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. This page will serve as a log of all College communications. Visit the COVID-19 Information page for details about all College-related policies and decisions implemented during this time.


COVID-19 Communication Log:

 

 

June 16, 2020 COVID-19 Communication

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 & Title IX Coordinator – 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 COVID-19 Communication

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 COVID-19 Communication

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 COVID-19 Communication

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 COVID-19 Communication

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 COVID-19 Communication

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 COVID-19 Communication

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 COVID-19 Communication

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 COVID-19 Communication

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 COVID-19 Communication

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 COVID-19 Communication

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 COVID-19 Communication

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 COVID-19 Communication

The following message was shared with the Hampden-Sydney community early on 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 COVID-19 Communication

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 COVID-19 Communication

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 COVID-19 Communication

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

Resources and Contact Info