College uses drone to help students feel connected to campus

Hamilton College in Clinton, New York offered a unique way for students to stay connected to the campus in the midst of the school’s closure, due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

The college shared an 18-minute Facebook Live aerial tour of the campus using a drone on April 1. The drone flew over campus with perfect weather, clear skies, and, best of all, during a “beautiful sunset” on the horizon.

The goal of the aerial drone tour was to help students continue to feel connected to their campus and to remind them of their college home despite the fact that most are not able to be there. 

“It’s never the same without our students, faculty, and staff but it was a nice reminder of home,” said Hamilton College on its Facebook page

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Thanks to everyone who took this live aerial tour of campus with us. It’s never the same without our students, faculty,...

Posted by Hamilton College on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The video currently had more than 300 reactions, more than 7,000 views, and more than 180 comments at the time of publication. 

“Our drone tour of campus has attracted more than 5,000 views, demonstrating how much our community loves our beautiful campus,” Vige Barrie, senior director of media relations at Hamilton College, told Campus Reform via email.

Video Support Specialist at Hamilton College, Forest Warner, who was also involved in the drone tour event, commented on the Facebook post, saying, “This was a lot of fun. I hope this brought a bit of happiness to your day.” 

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And to many, it did.

“Such a beautiful campus!!!” one person commented.

“I miss this place so much!” another wrote.

“Absolutely gorgeous...Thank you...I have 2 Granddaughters attending now...” yet another user said.

“Miss this so much! Wish I would see the hockey rink! Thankful for the lifetime friends I’ve made. Thank you Hamilton!” one said.

Others wrote: “It’s so still. Strange to see it not so full of life like usual. Beautiful as always,” “Thank you for doing this!!! Gorgeous campus, great faculty and staff...but miss our students!” and “What a beautiful campus, but just not the same without our students!”

Several viewers asked the videographers to fly the drone over to specific buildings that are important to them such as certain academic buildings, dormitories, and sports fields.

Barrie says that the drone will also be used to give “prospective students the opportunity to visit virtually,” as a number of colleges are now doing amid the pandemic, Campus Reform has reported

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Justin_Begley