St. John’s College to house Naval Academy midshipmen as Bancroft capacity limited by coronavirus quarantine, isolation


Approximately 375 Naval Academy midshipmen will call the dormitories at St. John’s College home for the fall semester after the neighboring higher education institutions signed an agreement for housing.

Under the agreement, the Naval Academy will be able to house roughly 375 midshipmen and use offices for leadership and study rooms, according to a joint press release from the Naval Academy and St. John’s College.Ads by TeadsADVERTISING

By housing midshipmen at St. John’s College, the Naval Academy will be able to bring more of the brigade back to Annapolis. The academy currently has 130 rooms in Bancroft Hall for isolation and quarantine use due to COVID-19. That meant approximately 500 midshipmen, mostly second class, would not be housed in Bancroft.

It was not immediately clear if the Naval Academy will still need to find additional housing for midshipmen.

The reform of the brigade is currently being staggered until mid-September despite classes starting last week. Plebes have been on campus since July. The majority of midshipmen who started classes remotely are in their second year at the academy.

Details about what St. John’s College receives from the contract and when it was signed were not released in the announcement. The contract was signed Aug. 21.

Room arrangements are still being worked out, according to a screenshot of an email a midshipman posted to Jodel, an anonymous social media application. Midshipmen who will be moving are encouraged to start packing items they do not need on a day-to-day basis to prepare for the move-in.

The Naval Academy is still working out how midshipmen will go to and from the academy, according to the press release.

“Midshipmen residing on St. John’s campus will adhere to the same health, safety, and security protocols as they would at the Naval Academy,” according to the press release.

Officers and senior enlisted leadership will work at St. John’s College as they would at Bancroft Hall.

St. John’s College announced the school would have online-only instruction for the fall semester at the end of July. The decision was made based on the health and wellness of the college, a college spokesman has said.

Discussions about housing midshipmen at St. John’s started after the college announced its online-only plan.Heather MongilioCONTACT 

Heather Mongilio is the Report For America corps member with the Capital Gazette, where she covers military affairs. Mongilio previously reported at The Frederick News-Post and the Carroll County Times. She earned a master’s degree in science writing from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree from American University.