Message to Yale SOM Alumni Relating to COVID-19

Dear Yale SOM Alumni and Friends,

I am writing today to let you know about Yale SOM’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). First and foremost, I want to wish you all well and let you know that we are thinking about the entire Yale SOM community during this difficult time. 

On Tuesday, Yale President Peter Salovey announced that at the end of the spring recess, all university classes will be delivered online until at least April 5. He urged Yale College students to remain at home and for graduate/professional students to stay off campus as much as is practicable. In anticipation of that decision, at Yale SOM, we have been preparing and testing all of our online capabilities in order to ensure a seamless transition to online instruction, and should there be a need for staff to work remotely. In addition, Yale SOM had already made an earlier call to cancel our International Experience and Global Network Weeks that would otherwise be occurring this month during the students’ break. We are committed to providing all resources necessary to making sure that these changes in no way affect the academic progress of our students.

Yale SOM has set up a multi-departmental task force that has been meeting daily to determine decisions the school should make to protect the health and safety of our community here in New Haven. It is informed by Yale University’s response and guidance. I also want to include the links to Yale’s COVID-19 and Yale SOM’s COVID-19 webpages, in case the guidance is personally helpful for you.

Below, we would like to share some updates that will have an impact on you, as well as on the work done by our office.

Alumni Events
We are canceling all alumni events through April 15. The status of all future events will be evaluated 30 days prior to the scheduled date, as necessary.

We will do our best to reschedule any canceled events and also to offer web/online substitutes when possible. Regional events with Dean Kerwin Charles will be rescheduled, as he is committed to meeting alumni around the country and the world.

Also, I would like to mention that Yale SOM Alumni Relations runs a robust webinar series featuring faculty and alumni on various topics. Please click here to view upcoming events. Of note, there will be a Global Network webinar on the economic impact of the coronavirus featuring faculty from Network schools in Spain, Italy, China, and the U.S. on March 24 at 9am ET.

The Quinquennial Reunions (as well as the first-year reunion) are still scheduled for May 1-3, and while on the calendar, I would think it likely that we will have to postpone Reunion Weekend. We will make a determination by the end of March whether it will take place as scheduled, and will be sure to inform those in reunion classes of the decision, regardless of whether or not you have signed up. As you know, large events may pose significant health risks, and we won’t take that risk unless things have calmed down by then. All registration fees from the May reunion will be refunded if we postpone the event. Also, please note that should we need to cancel the Reunion Weekend planned for May, an alternative date has been secured in the fall and will advise of that date accordingly.

We understand and empathize deeply with the effects the coronavirus and the market turmoil are having on you and on our community. While the financial needs of the school persist, we want to be respectful of the community and the more immediate concerns. To that end, you may still hear from your classmates and continue to have conversations with development staff as appropriate. However, Yale SOM will be suspending bulk fundraising (emails, mailings, and telethon calling) for the time being.

Thank you for your understanding on all of the above matters, and while I am not quite sure how we can help from afar, please know that we are here to support you in any way we can. And of course, we know that our alumni will continue to be supportive of one another in these difficult times -- just as we know you always have been.

Warmly, and with best wishes for everyone’s health and well-being.


Joel A. Getz
Senior Associate Dean
Development and Alumni Relations

Yale School of Management