Dear Kenyon students,
While the course of the pandemic is far from certain, we are looking ahead with optimism that all Kenyon students will be on campus next year — with a traditional academic calendar, in-person instruction and a full residential program that includes competitive athletics.
The increasing availability of vaccines across the U.S. and the expansion of eligibility to young adults give us added confidence in this plan. Indeed, over the past week more than 800 Kenyon students have reported that they are fully or partially vaccinated and we expect to hear from more students in the coming weeks.
As part of our plan for a return to more normal operations, Kenyon will require vaccination for students enrolling in the 2021-2022 academic year, as well as for students who intend to be on campus this summer. Requests for reasonable accommodations for sincerely held religious beliefs and medical exceptions will be considered on an individual basis, but it is our expectation that an overwhelming majority of students will be vaccinated. We know that vaccines protect individuals from serious infection, and recent data suggest that they also protect against asymptomatic infection and the risk of transmission of the virus to others.
Those students who are not able to obtain vaccination prior to arrival for the fall semester, or who are on campus for the summer, will be expected to be vaccinated as soon after their arrival as possible. We are working with our local public health authority, Knox Public Health, to facilitate this process and will provide details as soon as they are available.
All members of our community — faculty, staff and students — should begin to plan for the full return to in-person teaching and learning in the fall of 2021. We will continue to monitor visa and travel issues that might affect our returning international students.
I continue to be inspired by the resilience of Kenyon students. You have navigated much change over the past year, living and learning in ways that were once unfamiliar. And yet you have continued to approach your studies with vigorous enthusiasm and your interactions with one another with a generous spirit. I very much look forward to building on that strong foundation, together on campus, next year.