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A Letter from Dean Hicks on Return to Campus in Fall 2021
Oxford College Dean Doug Hicks in front of the Dining Hall fireplace

Dean Douglas A. Hicks addresses Oxford students on in-person learning and working experiences for Fall 2021.

Dear Oxford Students:

I hope you have read today’s message from President Fenves, declaring Emory’s return to an in-person learning and working experience for Fall Semester 2021, and I am sure that you join me in being delighted with this decision. I am proud of how Oxford and all of Emory have met the challenges of the pandemic head on, finding ways to teach and learn effectively, maintain our community, and enable students to progress toward their degree.

We are excited about what is ahead for fall. Below is an outline of what you can expect on Oxford’s campus for Fall Semester 2021. We will update you via email as we fine-tune the details over the coming weeks.

Let us keep in mind that while public health conditions and access to the vaccine have improved to a point where we will return to an in-person experience, the pandemic endures. Implementing our plans depends on continuing improvement, and we will be guided by CDC and Georgia Department of Public Health recommendations regarding face coverings, capacities for gatherings, and social distancing.

Classroom Learning

We expect that the vast majority of Oxford’s courses for Fall 2021 will be held in person. The remaining courses held online will allow us to meet the needs of the small number of students unable to join us in person due to travel restrictions or unique medical conditions. You can find out more information when Fall Semester 2021 classes appear in the Emory Course Atlas on April 23.

Residential Experience

All first-year and sophomore students will live on the Oxford College campus, and the majority of students will have a roommate. All current and entering students will receive information about housing and roommate selection from Residential Education and Services (RES) by April 1. Direct your questions to

Campus Life and the Student Experience

Offices that serve students will be open in person, complemented by online services that we have discovered (by necessity) can enhance the level of student support. Consistent with then-current safety protocols, our outstanding Campus Life staff will coordinate co-curricular activities that complement the academic experience. These include:

  • Club meetings
  • Athletics
  • Intramurals
  • Wellness, fitness, and recreation activities
  • Video gaming
  • Concerts
  • Worship services and religious observances

We are thrilled that we will be able to enjoy and use to full advantage our beautiful new student center, which opened only a year ago.


The Oxford Dining Hall will be open with access to its array of food stations, managed by the fine staff of Bon Appétit and featuring fresh meats and produce from local sources, including the Oxford College Organic Farm. In-person seated dining will be available.

Additional dining options will be available at the Jackson Family Kitchen in the student center and Oxpresso Café in the library.


With the return of both first-year and sophomore students to our campus, regular shuttle services between the Oxford and Atlanta campuses will return and operate with appropriate distancing guidelines. We will also offer regular transportation to shopping areas around Covington.

I am excited about what is ahead for us in Fall Semester 2021. I am grateful for those of you who will be sophomores next year and those of you continuing on to the Atlanta campus to complete your Emory undergraduate degree. I am likewise filled with enthusiasm to welcome our new Oxford students to campus in August!

Please join me in celebrating this thoughtful return to an in-person campus experience for the entire Oxford community. Please also accept my appreciation for the extraordinary way in which you have shown your resiliency in this past year and helped to keep Oxford the special place it is.


Dean Hicks

Douglas A. Hicks, Dean
William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Religion
Oxford College of Emory University

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