Feature Stories Campus Events

A Strengthened Resolve Rob Fure, director of Lifelong Learning Programs, looks forward to a mutual celebration of our nation’s recovery.

Dear Alumni Collegians,

Early last fall, when we began planning our 2020 slate of summer alumni colleges, enthusiasm was high. We had a terrific line-up of topics and faculty, participants were already eager to reserve space, and our new Lifelong Learning staff, Ruth Candler and Emily King, had just completed their first summer of programs. In its 38th year, the W&L Alumni College was in full flower. It all seems now so long ago.

Due to current measures to arrest the spread of COVID-19, we must now, regrettably, postpone the 2020 summer alumni colleges. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home order is in effect for all Virginians until June 10. The university has canceled Alumni Spring Reunion and undergraduate and law commencements. Mindful of the unpredictability of the virus and the care needed to prepare for events on campus, we agree with the wisdom of postponing W&L’s summer programs as well. Indeed, we share the university’s concern for the safety and welfare of all involved.

We have begun the process of refunding all payments made for our summer 2020 programs. We have notified all faculty of the postponement, and they have renewed their commitment to the 2021 calendar. Alumni College for summer 2021 will begin with “Family Adventure in Science,” July 7-10; “Understanding the Middle East” will be July 11-16; “Literature, Music, and Art of the Harlem Renaissance” July 18-23; “Three Great Russian Composers” July 25-28; and “Poets of the Neighborhood: Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson” July 28-31.

Lifelong Learning at W&L will continue through the intervening period. While we have postponed several W&L Traveller programs, those scheduled for late summer and the fall are still operating at this time. Our annual Law and Literature weekend seminar, Oct. 23-24, remains unaffected. Lifelong Learning will soon announce a new podcast series and a virtual book club. To enhance your anticipation of next summer’s series, we will soon produce a new faculty preview of each topic. Our mission to serve your interest in lifelong learning remains intact. It has often been said that crisis creates opportunity. In our case, it also strengthens our resolve. We are already looking forward to a mutual celebration of our nation’s recovery from this scourge and, inevitably, a wiser consideration of history, science, the arts, and our vital fellowship.

Until then, we wish you good health and safety,

Rob Fure