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Observance of Religious Holidays


A memo from the Provost.

Full Description

Dear colleagues:

Well in advance of the start of the new academic year – so you can plan accordingly – I thought it might be helpful to list the dates of some of the major religious holidays during the year.  What follows is not intended as an exhaustive list but simply names some of the more common major religious holidays.

Eid al-Adha:  Thursday, August 31 – Friday, September 1, 2017

Rosh Hashanah:  Wednesday, September 20 – Friday, September 22

Yom Kippur:  Friday, September 29 – Saturday, September 30

Sukkot:  Wednesday, September 4 – Wednesday, September 11

 Ash Wednesday:  Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Good Friday:  Friday, March 30

Passover:  Friday, March 30 – Saturday, April 7

I also ask that you consider major cultural holidays in making appropriate accommodations. The College Guidelines for Religious Accommodations follow below.


The College of William & Mary urges its administrators, faculty members, and staff to be sensitive to the religious holidays of organized religions.  All persons should be able to participate in the essential practices of their faith without conflict with academic requirements, as long as such practices are in accordance with state and federal regulations and consistent with safety regulations of the College.  The College offers the following guidelines.

  1. As soon as possible and no later than the end of the drop/add period, each student has the responsibility to inform his or her instructor of religious observances that are likely to conflict directly with classes and other required academic activities. Each student has the responsibility to arrange his or her course schedule to minimize conflicts.
  2. Based upon prior agreement between the instructor and student, a student who misses a class meeting because of a scheduling conflict with religious observances should be allowed, whenever possible, to complete without penalty the work missed because of such absences. A student who is absent from a test or presentation because of the observance of a religious holiday should be able to reschedule it without penalty. Absence from a final examination requires that the examination be rescheduled through the established process for rescheduling of final examinations by the Dean of Students.
  3. Graduate students should contact the Dean of the School or his or her designee.If a scheduling conflict with a student’s planned absence cannot be resolved between the instructor and the student, undergraduates should inform the Dean of Students who will follow the established procedure for a class absence. Graduate students should contact the Dean of the School or his or her designee.
  4. Faculty members and administrators in charge of scheduling campus-wide events, departmental meetings, etc. should avoid conflicts with religious holidays as much as possible.

If you have any questions, please let me know.


Michael R. Halleran


College of William & Mary

The Brafferton