Zoom in: At Vanderbilt, the majority of classes are in-person, and spread of the virus has been minimal.

The university had the benefit early on of in-house experts and good connections with Nashville’s public health system, Diermeier said. Undergraduate students have mandatory weekly testing.

Early on, the school used positive messaging — rather than threats — to encourage students to behave responsibly, and it hasn’t had any problems so far with parties or large gatherings.

“This is the biggest challenge we’ve had since the second World War…and we’re not asking them to storm the beaches of Normandy,” Diermeier said. “Our focus was, make this our proudest moment.”