May 23, 2024
Annapolis, US 73 F

St. John’s College to go virtual for fall, campus will be closed to all visitors

On July 31, St. John’s College announced to students and families that due to concerns over growing delays in testing results and worsening public health conditions in Anne Arundel County and Maryland, the college would be moving to remote learning for the fall semester.

Calling the decision “heartbreaking,” President Pano Kanelos stressed that the college’s staff and faculty had dedicated many hours to its fall reopening plans, covering everything from COVID testing and health and safety measures to adjusting the instructional environment to minimize risk.

But he wrote that the health and wellbeing of the entire college community was the single most important driver in the decision to not resume in-person instruction.

“As we examined our plans for the return to in-person classes in the context of the evolving public health conditions, we determined that while this was an extraordinarily difficult choice, it is the right one for now,” he said in a message to students and families.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to sustaining an online learning environment where you will be able to engage with other members of the Polity. We will still exchange ideas with passion and integrity. And though we are separated by mountains, by oceans, and by this pandemic, our Polity will still hold.”

The fall semester will officially begin on August 26 with a virtual convocation. Both undergraduate and Graduate Institute classes will take place online. The campus will also remain closed to outside visitors, groups, and events during the entirety of the fall semester. This includes use of the grounds for recreation, visitors to the Mitchell Gallery (closed through 2021), the library, the Iglehart Gym, and the Hodson Boathouse.

“We have been grateful for the patience, flexibility, and grace shown throughout the community as we have worked to navigate an ever-changing public health landscape locally, regionally, nationally, and globally,” President Kanelos wrote. “We must all work together to become our most courageous and compassionate selves, and to support each other in the face of an uncertain future.”

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