UPDATE: On June 27, the University updated the policy outlined below. The email was sent initially to students in the College by Dean of Students Erica Howard on May 4, 2022 announcing the University's policy regarding being up to date on COVID-19 vaccines.

Updated June 27
May 4, 2022

Dear Sewanee students,

For more than a year now, an important element of the University’s COVID-19 strategy has been a vaccination requirement for students, faculty, and staff. For the 2022–23 academic year, the University will continue to rely on vaccinations to help ensure the health and safety of our community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends that individuals receive booster shots when eligible. Also, the CDC recommends all students, faculty, and staff at institutions of higher education receive booster shots.

Accordingly, all students, faculty, and staff who are eligible, are required to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines, which currently means the primary series and one booster shot, by Aug. 1, 2022.

Please read these important elements of the new University vaccination booster requirement:

  • What does “up to date” mean? According to the CDC, you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines when you have received all doses in the primary series and one booster when eligible.
  • When am I eligible to receive a booster shot? Individuals ages 12 years and older can get one booster after completing their COVID-19 vaccine primary series which varies depending on the type of vaccination received.
  • How do I comply with the new policy? All students, faculty, and staff are required to attest that they are compliant with the University's vaccine requirement by logging into their Banner account and completing the attestation survey (log into Banner, click the Personal Information tab, click ‘Answer a Survey’ link). Should you not have access to an accepted COVID-19 vaccine and are not seeking an exemption, please communicate with the Dean of Students office by August 1, 2022.  We will work with you.
  • What if I already attested to my vaccination status? All students and employees must attest to meeting this new policy by logging into their Banner account and answering the survey questions.
  • What if I miss the Aug. 1, 2022, deadline? After the deadline, students not in compliance with this policy will not be allowed to report to campus and will be on a leave of absence. Remote learning will not be available. 
  • What if I have an existing medical and religious exemption for the COVID-19 vaccine? Students, faculty, or staff with existing exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine do not need to re-apply for exemption.
  • What if I want to apply for a new medical or religious exemption for the booster? Those seeking a new medical exemption may apply via this link or contact Matt Brown (mabrown@sewanee.edu). Those seeking new religious exemptions may complete this online form. Applications must be submitted by July 1, 2022 for consideration.

If you have questions about this new booster vaccination requirement, please contact the Dean of Students’ Office. 

The State of Tennessee requires that the University recognize “acquired immunity” as providing a level of protection that is at least as protective as a COVID-19 vaccine. You may verify acquired immunity by providing a letter from a physician or medical laboratory showing antibody, memory cell, or T-cell immunity. Students with questions regarding acquired immunity should contact Matt Brown (mabrown@sewanee.edu). 

Finally, University campus policies closely mirror those recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Sewanee’s immediate area (Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, and Marion counties), and are subject to change. Also, we are very fortunate to have a state-certified molecular diagnostic laboratory on campus. This lab enables us to ramp up COVID-19 testing at any time while students are on campus.

My colleagues and I are grateful for your continued cooperation and personal commitment to help keep one another as safe as possible. We hope you have a relaxing summer and look forward to seeing you on campus in August.


Erica Howard
Dean of Students