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We are slowly returning to normal here in Boston as the community recovers from last week’s unprecedented Boston Marathon bombings and its stunning aftermath. As the search for the suspects and the ensuing gun battles swept through the streets of Cambridge and into neighboring Watertown late Thursday evening and Friday morning, Harvard University closed the campus. Public transportation and train service were suspended, and the Governor requested that all residents throughout the region remain locked down in their homes and for all to stay away from the impacted areas. In the midst of these rapidly unfolding events and due to the uncertainty over the potential length of the lockdown, our concerns over our ability to safely host hundreds of alumni on campus for Reunion were paramount, and we made the difficult decision to cancel the weekend’s Reunion activities.
We were looking forward to seeing you at Reunion and we know that you were looking forward to celebrating and reconnecting with your classmates. I am very sorry that we had to take this step. Once the decision was made, our staff emailed all Reunion registrants, informed area hotels, and updated the Law School’s website with news of the cancellation. Given the fact that most of our staff was locked down in their homes, we may not have reached everyone.
After the suspect was apprehended and the crisis ended, we heard from a number of alumni who remained in Cambridge and of their interest in having a gathering on Saturday for those who were here. Our staff looked into the possibility of organizing an impromptu event with very short notice and was able to negotiate with The Charles Hotel (with whom we had already had to cancel) to schedule an informal dinner for Saturday evening. Due to the hotel’s reduced staff and meal availability, however, it could serve only a limited number of guests. Our staff reached out to those alumni we knew were in the area and asked them to help spread the word to their classmates. Since we did not know for certain all who remained in Cambridge, we surely missed some of you, and for that you have our sincerest apologies.
All who registered for Reunion, even those who cancelled before the weekend, will receive full refunds, which are currently being processed and will be completed in the coming week. There is no need to contact the Alumni Relations office—they will be issued automatically.
After the refunds are processed, we will be mailing the Red Books (aka Reunion Directories) in May. We are eager to confirm rescheduled plans for your Reunion and will let you know as soon as they are in place.
Again, I am sorry for this unfortunate change of plans. Please know that we look forward to welcoming you back to HLS in the near future.
Associate Dean and
Dean for Development & Alumni Relations
Harvard Law School
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