January 13, 2021 | Office of the President

The Spring Semester (January 13, 2021)

To Bowdoin students, faculty, and staff,

We all know the sobering reality that the COVID-19 global health crisis continues, including here in Maine. The weeks ahead–perhaps longer–will be very challenging and will continue to bring bad news. However, the distribution of vaccines is underway, bringing with them the knowledge that things will begin to improve. Ultimately, we will return to life that is increasingly more normal.

I remain confident in our plan for the spring semester that has sophomores, juniors, seniors, and a group of first-year students who cannot study remotely returning to campus beginning Friday, February 5, with classes to begin on Monday, February 8, three weeks later than when we would convene in normal times. The key to our continued success will be the rigorous use of face coverings, physical distancing, good hygiene, and robust testing. As long as each one of us is disciplined in observing these protocols, we have an excellent chance of avoiding serious problems.

We will also continue to pay close attention to the science and the data, and if circumstances warrant changes to our plans, we will make them. Later today and continuing over the next weeks leading up to the start of classes, students will receive detailed information about what the spring semester will offer and, for those coming to campus, what will be required of them and what they can expect when they arrive. We will also stay in touch with faculty and staff. In the meantime, please remain vigilant about protecting yourselves and others.

I look forward to getting underway again next month.

All the best,