May 01, 2020

In a message to students, President Larry Stimpert announces that Hampden-Sydney College will convene as a community and hold classes on campus this fall.

President Larry Stimpert shared the following message with students on May 1, 2020.

To the Men of Hampden-Sydney:

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.

To realize the full potential of the educational experience we offer you, we must be together as a community.

President Larry Stimpert

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.

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