W&M FAMILY NEWSLETTER
December 2020
fire hearth tradition christmas winter holiday celebration holly sprig twig student tribe pride fireplace burn
Greetings!
Happy December and happy holiday season! It feels strange to enter December with the semester already completed, but I hope you and your family are enjoying the extended winter break. It was a challenging semester, and your students definitely earned the extra rest time!

With the colder winter months comes one of our favorite William & Mary traditions, the Yule Log Ceremony. This year, students, alumni, families, and friends of William & Mary are invited to view the virtual ceremony from the comfort of their homes. I encourage you and your students to attend and keep this tradition alive!

With the longer break after a tough semester and year, I want to make sure you and your student feel supported by the William & Mary community and know about the services and opportunities available this break. You will also find information on the upcoming spring semester, which I’m sure will come faster than we know!

I hope you and your family have a restful winter break and a happy New Year. I look forward to reconnecting in February!

Wishing you well, 
 
Heather Deere
Assistant Director, Parent & Family Programs
Dean of Students Office
757-221-2508
The Path Forward: Spring 2020
Community conversation focuses on W&M’s successes and the challenges ahead
William & Mary President Katherine A. Rowe hosted a two-part virtual community conversation Nov. 20 about the challenges and opportunities W&M faced in the fall and how those experiences are informing decisions for the spring semester. Panelists answered questions posed by the W&M community, explored new ways to strengthen connections among students and provided an overview of what the educational experience will be like for the remainder of the academic year.
Spring Course Registration
With the fall semester wrapped up, it's already time to start thinking about this spring! Registration opened up today for students missing COLL 100 or COLL 150 requirements, or Class of 2021 students fulfilling their COLL 300. General course registration will open up on December 7 for Class of 2021 students, followed by registration for each subsequent social class by day. We encourage your student to prepare their courses sooner rather than later, and check their registration status now to ensure a smooth registration process!
Spring Academic Calendar Now Available
The Spring 2021 Academic Calendar has been recently announced. We recognize that this compressed semester has been very tough on your students, and want to provide your students a break next semester while minimizing travel due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

Rather than have a typical Spring Break, the adapted Spring 2021 Academic Calendar includes six Spring Break days scattered between the months of February and April.
Spring 2021 FAQs
Spring 2021 features a remote start to undergraduate classes, phased move-in for residential students and break days throughout the semester, all in support of successfully and safely convening in person at William & Mary. Visit W&M's Spring Semester FAQ page to get answers to some of the most pressing questions related to the Spring 2021 semester.
December News
Updated Fall 2020 Pass/Fail Policy
Provost Agouris, Dean Donoghue Velleca, and Dean Zeman have announced the faculty-led Educational Policy Committee's decision to modify the Pass/Fail policy for the fall 2020 semester that applies to Arts & Sciences (A&S) classes only. All undergraduates may now take two A&S courses on a Pass/Fail basis. Students have through December 7 to designate courses Pass/Fail.

Please encourage your student to reach out to their academic advisor with any questions or concerns.
Campus Yule Log
Every December, the William & Mary community celebrates new beginnings at the Yule Log ceremony. This holiday tradition began in the 1930s and has been part of the William & Mary experience for generations.

Campus Yule Log will take place virtually on Saturday, December 12 at 7 p.m. ET. Viewers will be treated to festive music and singing, student reflections on themes of hope and joy, the reading of special poems and stories and virtual tossing of ceremonial sprigs of holly into the fireplace in the Great Hall of the Wren Building for good luck. We've compiled everything you need to create your own virtual watch party, complete with William & Mary recipes, festive digital downloads and ways to share messages of gratitude.
W&M Alumni Association Yule Log Celebration
On Thursday, December 17, the William & Mary Alumni Association is hosting virtual Yule Log celebrations at 6 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. ET. Both programs will begin with a brief Yule Log ceremony featuring the W&M Choir, Gentlemen of the College and the Tradition of Yule Log. Afterwards, take part in two alumni-led activity sessions or get to know fellow members of the W&M community at a virtual table. All alumni, parents, family and friends are welcome to take part in the celebration!

Show your W&M pride on social media! Visit the Yule Log website to find downloadable Facebook frames, Zoom backgrounds and more. Post your own photos with the hashtag #wmYuleLog!
Ask a health expert: How do I safely enjoy the holidays?
As we head into the holidays, W&M News spoke with Carrie Dolan, an epidemiologist, an assistant professor in health sciences and member of William & Mary’s Public Health Advisory Board, about ways to enjoy the season safely. The most recent health guidelines and protocols are available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
Counseling Center Online Coping Resources Available for Students
The Counseling Center online coping with COVID-19 resources will remain available over the winter break as well as through the spring semester. These resources include handouts, websites, and videos on topics like coping with being away from your support system, emotional stress, preventing loneliness in a time of physical distancing, graduate school amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and managing trauma reactions during stressful times.
Virtual Career Chats
The Cohen Career Center will be hosting virtual Career Chats with alumni and W&M parents the week of January 18. These will be one hour sessions, with professionals speaking about their career paths and time for Q&A. We have Career Chats scheduled in a variety of industries including Business, Consulting, Public Service, and STEM. Students can see the schedule and access Zoom links in TribeCareers.
Fall 2020 Health & Wellness Updates
Campus Recreation
In the fall 2020 semester, the Bee McLeod Student Recreation Center was open 7 days, 19.5 hours, per week. The Rec Center was opened for 90 min. blocks of time, allowing for 30 min. breaks for cleaning and sanitizing in between. Cardio and weight equipment was spaced 10 feet apart and all Rec Center users were required to wear masks the entire time they were in the Rec Center.

All Campus Recreation programs observed social distancing guidelines and mandatory mask wearing.
  • Sport Club teams practiced with 10 feet distancing and masks in Fall 2020.
  • Intramural Sports held an activity challenge, weekend lawn games (such as corn hole and bocce ball) on the Sunken Garden, tournaments such as disc golf and pickleball, roommate sand volleyball and a 3-point shooting contest.
  • The Tribe Adventure Program held Friday and Saturday night camp-outs in the Matoaka woods, campfires & s’mores, and paddling (including kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding on Lake Matoaka.
  • Fitness & Wellness offered 61 Fitwell classes per week (including in-person and virtual classes) throughout the fall semester. Classes were moved from the studios to a basketball court (Miller Gym) or outside at Briggs Amphitheatre or the Wellness Center patio. Personal Training registration opened in mid-October and 15 new clients registered for training sessions, which were held primarily outside, virtually, or in a fitness studio (equipment arranged to allow for social distancing between client and trainer).
Student Health Center
This semester was a truly unusual and remarkable one. The William and Mary student body did a stellar job of following healthy together initiatives and the result was a very successful semester. The student health center also played a vital role in assuring that the semester occurred in the safest possible way. Telemedicine was a much larger part of our patient visits, though we continued to see in-person visits by appointment.

Given the prevailing COVID pandemic, a large part of our operations involved testing and diagnosing symptomatic patients and managing the isolated and quarantined population of students both on-and off campus. W&M was the first, and one of very few campuses in Virginia that had ready and ample access to rapid antigen tests, so that results were available within 15 minutes. All students diagnosed with COVID received daily phone calls from our nursing staff to check on their well-being and to provide advice and support . Our medical providers worked in collaboration with VDH officials to ascertain that positive cases and close contacts were identified rapidly and efficiently. We continued our collaborative initiatives with the counseling center and the rest of our Health and Wellness colleagues in managing some of the mental health consequences of the pandemic.

We were incredibly fortunate to have had the ongoing support of the Student Assembly in assisting us with raising awareness for the flu clinic this year, and for providing funding for free STI screening for our students. Our pharmacy continues to meet the needs of ALL our students with a variety of different insurance plans, with its efficiency, convenience, and value.
Study in D.C. this Spring or Summer! 
Applications are currently open for both the Spring 2021 D.C. Semester Program and the D.C. Summer Institutes!

Student Benefits:
-Work in a mostly full-time internship in an industry of your choosing, with dedicated staff support throughout the application process and during the experience.
-Earn 12-14 W&M credits during a D.C. semester or 7 credits with a summer institute while gaining professional experience.
-Enjoy the vibrant city life in D.C. - live like a young professional in the heart of the city.
-Engage with D.C. experts and alumni in a wide variety of fields and industries through class speaker and site visits, networking receptions, and a formal mentorship program.

D.C. Semester Program applications close on Monday, December 7 and applications for the D.C. Summer Institutes close on Monday, January 4.
Virtual Health & Wellness
Maintain your self-care routine or start new healthy habits during winter break. You can take FitWell classes or try a mindfulness series online at any time at www.wm.edu/wellness/virtual
Undergraduate Major in Education- Admissions Event
Hear from our Dean, learn about the nuts and bolts of our programs and admissions, listen to faculty about why you should teach, and ask questions of our students about their experiences.
Summer 2021 Study Abroad Opportunities
Is your student interested in studying abroad this summer for W&M credit? Applications for W&M’s faculty-led summer abroad programs and for Reves Summer Scholarships are open now and are due by Monday, February 1, 2021. With opportunities at 20 locations around the globe, we have programs that will support their academic goals and fit your budget. Learn more at the WM Global Education Office website or contact wmabroad01@wm.edu for more information.
The Parents Fund Supports Student Wellness
“I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown. I didn’t think I could wait until Monday to talk to someone and take action.” 
 ―W&M student who used the after-hours counseling service, ProtoCall 
 
The Parents Fund supports programs that impact every single student, including valuable wellness resources available through the Counseling Center, the Student Health Center, Campus Recreation and more. As one powerful example, your gift to the Parents Fund helps provide ProtoCall, a telephonic behavioral health service available to all students on nights and weekends.  
 
Please help students thrive by making a gift to the Parents Fund today. 
Did you know the CARES Act incentivizes charitable giving in 2020? This year, there is a universal $300 standard deduction for cash gifts made to qualifying public charities, including William & Mary. Please speak with your tax professional to learn how your gift to William & Mary can be a benefit to you. 
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795