I hope this email finds you well and that you are finding ways to stay active, happy, and safe during these most unique – and oftentimes unsettling – of times. I promise to keep this communication short but did want to update you on the latest happenings related to Yale, the alumni community, and the effects of COVID-19 from this past week.
- On Monday, classes resumed online for students. The campus feels eerily empty, but professors and students are back at work, thanks to the remarkable efforts of our faculty, the incredible work of Yale staff in setting up and maintaining the infrastructure to facilitate online learning, and the flexibility and perseverance of the students to finish this semester strong.
- Wednesday brought some unfortunate, if not unexpected, news. Due to lingering concerns and the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, President Salovey announced that Commencement would not be held as scheduled in May. And that afternoon, Yale College Reunions as planned were canceled for the classes ending in 0 and 5 and the scheduled senior reunion. We are actively working on contingency plans to celebrate with these groups and look forward to announcing those plans in due course. The School of Architecture, School of Management, School of Medicine, and School of Nursing have also canceled their individual class or larger spring reunions.
- Finally, 2020 Yale Day of Service will go on, but in a different capacity and with a different focus. For those who can, we encourage you to convert May 9 – the scheduled Day of Service – to a virtual day of service, with in-person service events being delayed until it is deemed safe and prudent to hold them. This season of uncertainty will instead result in a Year of Service, with an emphasis on the fact that any day can be a Yale Day of Service.
In closing, I want to thank all of you for your outpouring of support – both for the students and the entire campus community – over the past few weeks. While we cannot be together as we have in the past, I hope you continue to seek out ways to connect with your friends, classmates, and fellow alumni, to check the events page on our website for webinars of interest, and to take advantage of Yale’s opportunities to learn online through lectures and talks, library resources and journals, online courses, videos and podcasts, and more.
Yale is not just a place. It is a community. And it does not require you to be on campus to make it any more vital or reassuring. If these past two weeks have taught me anything, it is that the strength of the alumni community and the common bond we share as Yalies endure through even the most trying of times. So, wherever you are, be well, be safe, help others where you can, and we will indeed get through this together!
Weili Cheng '77
Executive Director, Yale Alumni Association
P.S.: Some of you have sent me, and I’ve heard anecdotally of others, inspiring stories and acts of generosity among our alumni during this time of crisis. I’d love to hear more of those, and if you have a first-person story about the Yale community that you’d like to appear on the YAA website, please share it with us.
Previous COVID-19 All-Alumni Communications
March 12: Yale Alumni Association COVID-19 Update