COVID-19 Updates, From the President

Monday Message from President Walker—April 12, 2021

The following message was sent to Students, Families, Faculty, and Staff on April 12, 2021.

Dear Bennington community,

Happy Monday, Bennington. I hope you had a chance to enjoy the beautiful weekend. I took my first bike ride of the season and actually made it up the hills! I can’t wait for more!

COVID-19 Update

I am happy to report that we have no active cases of COVID-19 on campus at this time. Thank you again to everyone who quarantined over the past month to minimize the threat of potential exposure. Your efforts were successful and your cooperation is appreciated.

Vaccine eligibility for Vermonters who are 30 or older opened today and I know many of our faculty and staff are anxious to get appointments. All New York residents who are 16 and older are now eligible.

As of today, anyone residing in Vermont who is 30+, BIPOC, or has a qualifying health condition is eligible to get vaccinated. Vaccines open to Vermonters age 16+ on April 19 and to all non-resident students age 16+ on April 30. As you know, we feel strongly that ALL of our students should be eligible on April 19 and we are advocating for it, but despite pressure from us and all the Vermont colleges, Governor Scott so far has held firm to his timetable. We will continue to do our best to help students navigate a confusing and ever-changing set of rules.

Middlebury Language Schools

As we announced earlier today, Bennington will not be hosting the Middlebury Language Schools on campus this summer due to low enrollment in their program as a result of the pandemic and limited vaccine access globally. While unfortunate, this will not have a significant financial impact on the College as Middlebury will still honor its baseline obligation. We are looking into other possible opportunities for hosting cultural activities here on campus in its place and will keep you apprised of any changes. We are confident that our partnership with Middlebury Language Schools will resume next summer.

Tomorrow: VALS Guest Artist Fabiola Jean-Louis

Tune in tomorrow at 7:00 pm for the next in our virtual Spring 2021 VALS series, with guest artist Fabiola Jean-Louis. Born in Port au Prince, Haiti, the Brooklyn-based artist uses ‘painterly’ photography as a vehicle for her love of Afro-futurism, science/science fiction, pre and post-industrial eras, elves, fairies, and history and folklore. Her current series, Rewriting History, is a three-part series consisting of period paper gowns, photographs, and Polaroids.

Thank you for your continued attention to masking, distancing and testing in this final stretch. I got my second vaccine last week and am looking forward to more in-person events with students and others when my post-vaccine waiting period concludes on Sunday! We are so close.

Have a great week,

Laura Walker