August 4, 2021
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Dear People of Hope,

Our new academic year will soon be upon us. After an unprecedented 2020-21, we look forward to 2021-22 as a time to come together, fully and in-person, and enter wholeheartedly into learning, relationships, and community with God and one another. While our commitment to a "normal" school year remains as strong as ever, we know that COVID-19 is not fully behind us. Therefore, we continue to assess and take actions to keep the Hope College community safe. With this message, we want to inform you about the first of those actions for 2021-22.

Throughout the summer, we strongly and unanimously asked and encouraged all of our students, faculty, and staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. We asked this because we consider it the best way to protect our entire community and ensure a full learning environment with minimal COVID-19 limitations. 
A key piece of information that the college needs to determine our COVID-19 safety protocols this year is each student’s vaccination status. Many students have already uploaded their vaccine details using the Health Center Patient Portal. For others, we have obtained vaccination information from the State of Michigan’s vaccination database. For some, we do not have any COVID-19 vaccination information.

Students: If we do not have any vaccination information for you, you will receive a follow-up email shortly. We will be asking you to either:

  • upload your vaccination information into your Hope Health Center Patient Portal; or,
  • indicate that you will be receiving the vaccine if you are not vaccinated already but are planning on it; or,
  • submit a “Student Acknowledgement of COVID-19 Non-Vaccination” form. This form will ask you to identify why you are not receiving the vaccine (religious, medical, or personal reasons) and will inform you of additional measures that the college is requiring of those who are not vaccinated. These measures will be put in place to protect the community, and they include, but are not limited to, pre- and post-arrival testing, surveillance testing, quarantine and isolation process, possible travel limitations, and personal financial responsibility. 

Should you receive the follow-up email, please upload your vaccination information or complete the “Acknowledgement of COVID Non-Vaccination” form no later than Wednesday, August 11.

Last fall, we started the semester with a day of fasting and prayer, asking for God’s guidance, protection over our in-person academic year, and a vaccine to end COVID-19. God graciously answered those prayers by giving us a year in-person, by helping us navigate the trials of the pandemic, and by providing vaccines. In gratitude, we now move forward with His provision, continuing to prayerfully consider COVID decisions which are informed by science and guided by the recommendations and mandates of the local, state, and federal health officials. The COVID-19 virus is unpredictable and because of that, circumstances can rapidly change. We ask you, the Hope community, to remain nimble with us as we adapt to new safety needs that may be ongoing.

As ever, we stand strongly committed to delivering the best Hope College experience possible for all students. We are excited about what this new academic year will hold. Old things will feel new again as we fully reconnect with each other and our campus.

Spera in Deo,

Hope College Administrative Council

Matthew A. Scogin, President
Tom Bylsma, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Richard Frost, Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students
Gerald Griffin, Interim Provost
Trygve Johnson, Hinga Boersma Dean of the Chapel
Lori Mulder, Director of Human Resources
Tim Schoonveld, Director of Athletics
Jeff Puckett, Vice President for Philanthropy and Engagement
Mary Remenschneider, Associate Vice President
Sonja Trent-Brown, Chief Officer for Culture and Inclusion
Bill Vanderbilt, Vice President of Admissions
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