COVID-19: One Year Later

Dear Members of the Hamilton Community,

Exactly one year ago, I shared the heartbreaking news that Hamilton would suspend in-person instruction for the remainder of the spring semester. At the time, we had no known cases of COVID-19 on campus and only one confirmed case in Oneida County. None of us knew what to expect or how fast the virus would spread, so I urged us to “have faith in each other to meet whatever comes next.” We did and we have.

Immediately after my announcement, staff across campus began working nonstop to ensure all of our students made it home safely and received whatever support they needed to continue their studies remotely. In just two weeks, the faculty, with support from LITS, managed to redesign the entire spring curriculum for remote instruction. As the pandemic worsened, we all began planning for a fall semester unlike any in the history of the College.

It has not been easy, and we are not out of the woods yet. For some, the virus has had tragic consequences, and to them I extend the College’s deepest sympathy. I am grateful for the sacrifices each of you has made to help Hamilton navigate the pandemic.

We seem at last to have reached a turning point. COVID case numbers are declining, and the vaccination rate is increasing. I think it likely we will be able to return to relatively normal operations in the fall. But let’s not let up too soon. The pandemic has a way of roaring back whenever that happens, so please continue to follow all of our COVID protocols.

As you reflect on the pandemic experience, you may be interested in a new webpage devoted to the “sights, sounds and stories” from the past year. Despite all the challenges, we can all be proud of the way our community has risen to the moment.


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