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Hampden-Sydney shifts to remote instruction for rest of spring

Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) President Dr. Larry Stimpert announced in a Friday, March 20, letter to the college’s community that starting Monday, March 23, the remainder of the spring semester would proceed without in-person classes in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Larry Stimpert

“Today, I write to share with you the disappointing news that we will complete the spring semester through remote instruction,” Stimpert stated. “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 (and Prevention) 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.”

Stimpert made it clear an in-person graduation will still be happening, though.

“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,” Stimpert wrote. “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.”

He noted that with the shift to remote instruction for the rest of the semester, college administrators want all students to return to campus to gather their belongings March 21-30.

To ensure a safe and orderly process and to limit the number of people in residence halls at any given time, he stated that students must complete a form provided via the H-SC website’s emergency updates page to select a two-hour time slot in which to collect their 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,” he stated.

He wrote that additional important information about the moving process can be found on the form itself.

For any questions or a need to discuss alternative arrangements for retrieving belongings, students should 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,” Stimpert stated. “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 also found via the H-SC website’s emergency updates page, he wrote. 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,” Stimpert stated. “This policy will be shared with you soon.”

He noted that H-SC would begin remote instruction Monday, March 23.

“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,” he wrote. “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.”