Student working on laptop outside during fall sunset
By Roanoke College News

Planning for Fall 2021 Return to Campus

Dear Maroons,  

We look forward to having everyone back on campus for the Fall 2021 semester. We are planning for an engaging, back-to-normal semester. After the past two academic years, normal sounds wonderful. 

It was terrific to end the past academic year with zero cases of COVID-19 and in-person Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2020 and 2021!  

Now, it is time to share our plans for the next academic year with you.  


For the next academic year, our plan is to return to in-person instruction – with professors and students in the classroom. Roanoke will not be offering hybrid or online courses.  

Professors will plan to teach in the classroom, and students will be expected to attend classes in person.  

The academic year will begin at the planned time. New students will move in on Saturday, August 28. Returning students will move in on Sunday, August 29. Classes will begin Wednesday, September 1.  

Student Vaccine Requirements 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have determined the COVID-19 vaccine to be safe and effective. It is recommended as the best way for our communities to return to normal life.  Many in our Roanoke College community have already been vaccinated but COVID-19 still presents a risk to our residential campus community.  

All students are required to be fully vaccinated before returning for the fall semester. We believe this is the best way to protect our campus community, allow the College to return to in-class instruction and offer a variety of activities for everyone on campus.  

Students will need to complete the vaccine shots no later than August 2, 2021, to allow for two weeks to elapse in order to be fully vaccinated in time for arrival on campus. 

All students are required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine. This will be submitted via the Student Health Portal where all student vaccine and health information is stored.  Vaccine card copies can also be sent by email to or you can bring a copy to the Student Health Center.  

Waivers for medical or religious exemptions 

Students who have medical or religious reasons for not being vaccinated may request a waiver. The medical exemption request form is available for download to complete and give to your physician.  The religious exemption form can be filled out here.  

If approved, those who sign a waiver will be expected to adhere to COVID-19 safety precautions for their own health as well as the health of the overall community.  

Students who are approved for the waiver and are not vaccinated,  

  • will be required to wear a mask in indoor settings and in outdoor settings if social distancing can’t be maintained.  
  • must participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. 
  • will be required to quarantine per CDC guidelines if exposed to COVID-19. 
  • will be placed in isolation if they have tested positive for COVID-19.   


  • Isolation and quarantine prevent students from attending classes, and with no online classes, students would need to make individual arrangements with their professors to keep up in classes.  
  • Most students will be asked to return home if quarantine or isolation is required. 

Campus Life 

We anticipate a return to a pre-COVID level of student activities, such as in-person concerts, lectures and performances. We also expect a robust athletics schedule and currently are working with the Old Dominion Athletic Conference on dates and specifics.  

We will continue to monitor COVID-19 guidelines from the Commonwealth of Virginia and the federal government. While we expect a normal year, we will have plans in place should the COVID-19 environment change. This past year has taught us that preparedness plans are critical to our success. We have met challenges before, and we will be ready again.  

Additional information will be provided by the appropriate offices as we get closer to your arrival on campus in August. If you have questions, check out the Frequently Asked Questions or contact us at

Enjoy your summer and I look forward to seeing you on campus in August! 
President Michael Maxey 

NOTE: updated on June 18, 2021 to add link to religious exemption form and link to Frequently Asked Questions.