I’m writing with important news about next semester. As we look toward spring, we have made the decision to shift the Spring 2021 academic calendar and extend the winter break. Spring semester classes are now scheduled to start on Feb. 8, 2021.
As you are probably aware, COVID-19 cases are increasing in the United States, including in Virginia, where Gov. Ralph Northam recently issued an executive order to slow the spread of the virus. The order remains in effect until Jan. 31, 2021. Additionally, it is anticipated that cases will only increase over the holiday season as people travel and gather indoors.
The delayed semester start also allows the College time to ensure that all network outages we are currently experiencing are resolved. As many of you are aware, Roanoke College experienced a cyber event which impacts our ability to access files. As we work to get operations restored, it is unclear how long the Roanoke College network may be unavailable. The College website is currently operational, but some areas are not working due to the need for user logins to access certain functions. Updates on restoration of the campus network can be found here.
We are announcing the Feb. 8, 2021 semester start date at this time, due to the combined effect of a predicted COVID-19 case increase and the need to restore the current campus network. Protecting the health and safety of our community, while providing students with the optimal educational environment, remains our priority.
Academic Calendar, Registration and Student Work
The revised calendar may be found here. There are no changes to the class offerings or to your class choices made during registration. An array of in-person, remote and other classes labeled as “flex” that meet both in-person and virtually, continue to be offered.
The semester will remain the same length, starting on Feb. 8 and ending the week of May 17. The Class of 2021 commencement ceremony will now take place on May 29. The revised Spring 2021 calendar allows for faculty members to give students breaks from classes throughout the semester. There will be no spring break.
Any new or returning students who need to register for classes will be contacted by staff who will help you, as soon as the necessary systems are back online. Also, students who have incomplete work from Fall 2020 semester will be able to work with their instructors on deadlines for that work once the systems are back online.
For students who have submitted appeals (academic suspension or other): The Appeals meeting scheduled for Dec. 14 was not held. The meeting will be rescheduled, and the deadline for submission of letters and supporting documentation will be extended. When the College email is functioning again, the Registrar's Office will email you with details.
For students, former students or alumni requiring official or unofficial transcripts: Transcripts can be requested through the National Student Clearinghouse transcript site. As soon as service is returned, transcripts will be released as directed by the requestor.
Welcome Back and New Student Orientations
Welcome Back programming for returning freshmen and new student programming will take place on Feb. 6-7, new and returning freshmen must be moved in by Feb. 5. More information about these events will be shared separately.
Residential Move-in Dates
- Resident Advisors will move in on Jan. 31.
- Students will begin to return to campus on Feb. 1. (A reminder that students will be required to take a pre-arrival COVID-19 test five days prior to returning to campus, and must submit those results to Student Health and Counseling Services. We will send more information regarding the COVID-19 test requirements in January.)
- Students who had planned to move in early for athletics will be allowed to do so. Coaches will be contacting their respective team members directly with more information.
- Sorority recruitment will shift to a virtual format and will be postponed until later in January. Specifics will be shared in January.
- New and returning students should return to campus by Feb. 5.
Once the network is restored, the Residence Life office will contact students regarding their move-in date.
The College is closed for the holiday through Jan. 4. However, Roanoke College staff will periodically monitor select phone lines over the holiday break and respond to questions regarding the following topics:
- Ph: 540-375-2270, Admissions
- Ph: 540-375-2235, Financial Aid
- Ph: 540-375-2068, International Education
- Ph: 540-375-2308, Residence Life, Housing and Move-In
- Ph: 540-375-2211, Registrar’s Office
- Ph: 540-375-2255, Student Accounts, Business Affairs
The College will reopen on Jan. 4 and faculty and staff will be available to respond to questions at that time.
I apologize for the inconvenience these changes cause. Once again, we are asking for your flexibility during these times, and remain incredibly appreciative of your ongoing adaptability.
Sending you all best wishes for a healthy, safe and happy holiday season. I look forward to seeing you in the new year and have great hope for another successful semester.
Be well Maroons,
President Michael Maxey
1. Because of the current network outage, the Dec. 20 due date for student account payments has been extended to Jan. 11. If it is important for tax purposes that the spring payment be posted in calendar year 2020, please mail a check to the address below with a post mark on or before Dec. 31:
Attn: Business Office
221 College Lane
Salem, Virginia 24153
2. Students will have until Feb. 1, 2021 to change their decision about living on campus in the spring. No refunds will be available for housing and meal plans after that time, unless the College has to send all students home due to COVID-19, which we sincerely hope does not happen.
3. The 2021 Intensive Learning term and all Summer Terms will continue to be offered following the spring term and those programs are also included in the academic calendar.