From the President

Monday Message from President Walker—February 1, 2021

The following message was sent to Students, Families, Faculty, and Staff on February 1, 2021.

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

Looks like another snowy week here in the Green Mountains and throughout the Northeast as we plan for student arrivals and the start of a promising Spring Term. 

COVID-19 Update

There are currently no active cases of COVID-19 in our community. Our focus today is on preparing for student arrivals (February 13-14), at which time a rigorous sequence of testing and quarantining will commence. The coronavirus continues to spread rapidly across the country and our ability to prevent and contain positive cases upon arrival will be critical to our success this term. If you are a student, faculty or staff member planning to come to campus in February, I urge you to exercise extreme discipline with masking, distancing, and limited travel over the next two weeks. The most effective way to keep COVID-19 off the Bennington campus is to quarantine now and arrive healthy. At this time, vaccines are only available in Vermont to people who are 75 years old and older. Some students and faculty have been able to get vaccines, and I urge anyone who has the opportunity to be vaccinated to avail themselves of this life saving tool in whatever state they may be eligible. For more details on our student arrival procedures and state travel rules, visit our Spring 2021 Information page and check out the Q&A we hosted last week with students and families. If you have questions or want to share any concerns, please let us know.

Bennington Campus is a Vaccine Distribution Site for the Town of Bennington

Beginning this month, through an agreement with the Vermont Department of Health,  Bennington College will be a Public Point of Distribution (POD) site for vaccine distribution to the Town of Bennington. Community members will park in the VAPA parking lot and get vaccines at Greenwall. This will not cause any disruption on campus though you may notice additional vehicles in the VAPA parking lot. In hosting a POD, the College is providing a critical service to the Department of Health and our neighbors in southern Vermont. At this time, Vermont is providing vaccines only to Vermonters who are 75 and older. We hope to learn more in the coming weeks about vaccine availability for Bennington College students, faculty, and staff, and will let you know details as we learn them.  

24 Hour Plays on February 16

I hope you will join me, along with Bennington creators including Alan Arkin ‘55Sofia Alvarez ‘07, and Jonathan Marc Sherman ‘90 on February 16th beginning at 8pm for the live premiere of The 24 Hour Plays, our fourth such event and first to be completely virtual. The 24 Hour Plays is a series of  monologues, written and performed in 24 hours, with additional musical performances and guests throughout the event. Tickets are available to purchase now to benefit the Spencer Cox ’90 and Nicky Martin scholarships to support Bennington student activists and artists. There will also be a limited number of complimentary tickets available to students, faculty and staff. This beloved event has become one of Bennington’s most anticipated. I’m so pleased that, through this virtual format, we can expand access to more Bennington people from wherever they are today. I hope to see you there. 

Myanmar 

Our thoughts are with the citizens of Myanmar after the country's military seized power in a coup last week and declared a national state of emergency. We are working with students affected by these events to support them as we are able. I encourage anyone who may be impacted by the turmoil in Myanmar to reach out to International Student Services for guidance.

Thank you and take care,

Laura Walker
President