I hope by now you have had an opportunity to see President Salovey’s letter on returning to campus and the accompanying story that ran in YaleNews and was promoted in Yale Today. I wanted to follow up to let you know what that means for the alumni community and to again express my hope that you are all safe and well.
COVID-19 has impacted nearly every aspect of our daily lives, and that has extended to Yale and the Yale alumni community. The YAA staff continues to work from home, with Zoom meetings becoming a regular staple of our working (and often non-working!) days. I am proud to say that the core of our work has continued without pause, and in many regards, we have extended our programs and offerings during this time of quarantine, with an increased number of webinars and recorded events that are available to all alumni.
As we plan our programs for the year, we are guided by results of the 2017 all-alumni survey – namely alumni interest in lifelong learning and career skills. We will also continue to facilitate the exploration of topics that challenge us all intellectually, emotionally, and socially. And we will provide learning opportunities for alumni to gain a greater understanding of issues confronting everyone in our diverse alumni population today.
Here is a sampling of the new, extended, and enhanced events, programs, and pages available to you online:
- Cross Campus: Yale’s new mentoring, networking, and community-building platform, administered by the YAA.
- Yale Alumni Academy inaugural courses: The online summer sessions include one-day webinars and ongoing seminar courses offering an immersive experience – all taught by expert Yale faculty and scholars.
- Yale Alumni College: These offerings, designed to promote social connections in your communities, are now online to comply with social distancing. Summer sessions are under way so stay tuned for fall courses!
- Virtual YAA: Learn, discover, and engage with online offerings from the YAA.
- Learn Online: Learning takes all forms, which is why Yale has put a wealth of lifelong learning opportunities at your fingertips.
- Videos & Podcasts: Yale offers countless opportunities to learn for a lifetime, with videos, podcasts, and educational resources hosted by a number of schools and programs.
- YAA Webinars on Demand: Catch up on YAA virtual events with our on-demand library of webinars, fireside chats, and digital panels.
In looking ahead to the fall, last week’s announcement made clear what we all expected: Virtual experiences and restrictions regarding on-campus gatherings will continue through the remainder of 2020. As has been the case since March, we will not hold any in-person events on campus for the rest of this calendar year. This will impact many of our events, most prominently the annual YAA Assembly and Yale Alumni Fund Convocation, which will be held as a series of virtual events this year rather than the typical two-day, in-person experience.
Moreover, the ongoing 50WomenAtYale150 celebration will be an online and virtual one. And our usual slate of fall events will transition to webinars or online offerings. There are and will continue to be restrictions in place for visiting campus, so please make sure you adhere to those guidelines if you are planning to visit New Haven.
We do not know what lies ahead for the remainder of the academic year. The timing of our spring activities depends on the university calendar, which sets the start of spring semester. The university’s overriding concern is for the health and safety of our university community, including alumni. We of course will follow the guidelines and priorities set by university, city, and state officials.
One day soon, we will return to campus, and I for one cannot wait for that moment. Until then, I hope you are taking care of yourselves, both in terms of your physical and mental well-being, and I wish the best to you and yours, with light, truth, and all wishes for continued and excellent health.