The health, safety and well-being of our community members is a top priority. Trinity College continues is working closely with the University of Toronto to monitor the development of the COVID-19 pandemic and to follow the advice and directives of government and public health authorities to slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19 in our community.
Dear Alumni and Friends,
Let me begin by extending our warmest wishes to you and your loved ones during this challenging time. We all hope you are healthy and safe and finding ways to stay connected with those closest to you.
By now you will have received communications from Trinity’s Provost, Mayo Moran, and the University of Toronto, and are aware that our attention of necessity is currently focused on ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our community and enabling Trinity students to successfully complete their academic year.
Thanks to the remarkable efforts of Trinity faculty and staff, our students have transitioned to online courses and are remotely accessing the resources they need. The Office of the Dean of Students has done an exceptional job assisting students making their way home this past week, while continuing to support a small group of students who remain in residence as they are unable to return home at this time. And the Registrar’s Office has been incredibly resourceful in finding ways to connect virtually with students to offer them the support they need at this trying time, whether it be academic, personal or financial.
You will have heard that the University of Toronto has made the difficult decision to cancel Reunion 2020. While this is disappointing to everyone, we support this decision. The health of our alumni and friends as well as the broader community is our top priority.
Our team in Development & Alumni Affairs has also been reaching out to our alumni, volunteers and friends making sure that everyone is okay and talking about ways that we can connect and support each other through this difficult time. Making connections is at the core of what we do and although some events may be postponed or cancelled, we are finding new, innovative ways to bring our community together to enhance our mission.
Much has changed over the last few weeks but we want you to know that the spirit of our supportive community remains at the heart of Trinity!
We will be in touch soon with more information and thoughts on how we can all stay connected. Below are some of our earlier communications and links to information on our website if you missed earlier messages.
Until then, please feel free to contact any of us in the Office of Development & Alumni Affairs if you have questions or comments or would just like to hear a friendly voice.
Executive Director, Development & Alumni Affairs
After careful consideration of the public health situation with COVID-19, the University of Toronto sincerely regrets to announce the cancellation of Alumni Reunion 2020 as part of the University’s broader efforts to protect the health, safety and well-being of our community and the broader population. Across the University, programming will be developed for the alumni community through virtual engagement events, webinars and lectures. At Trinity, we will be considering alternative opportunities to connect online, and will share those plans with our alumni community and honoured year alumni in the near future. Please check Trinity’s Reunion web page, which will be updated as information becomes available. We hope you will consider engaging through online opportunities with us and the University, and we look forward to virtually connecting with you soon. Until then, please stay safe and well.
Dear Members of the Trinity College Community:
We live in strange and stressful times indeed and I wanted to begin by wishing you and your loved ones well. Like Trinity College, I’m sure your daily life has been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the situation has by no means stabilized, I thought you may value a snapshot of where things are at the moment with Trinity.
The decisions that we have made in the past ten days seemed unthinkable only a short time ago. However, like the rest of our city, our country and the world, we are working hard to slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19. Trinity College is fortunate to have an excellent internal team that is working in close coordination with the University of Toronto’s leadership team and with public health officials. The health and safety of our community is our guide and along with the wider university, we continue to monitor the situation and follow the directives of government officials and the best public health advice available. That advice has necessitated strong measures.
Like other universities around the country and the world, we have moved to online delivery of most courses. At the same time, across the university, a great deal of work has been done to minimize the academic disruption to students and to ensure they can successfully complete their year. With the recently declared provincial State of Emergency on March 17, an increasing number of our staff and faculty are working remotely and delivering as much service and support as possible online or by telephone. And faculty members–like me, since I am teaching two sections of “Ten Cases that Changed the World” this term–are moving our courses online and finding ways to engage students in different formats. Of course our students are much more comfortable with this than many of us are and we are all learning a great deal about the capacities of technology! We are also working to find ways to minimize the risks of increased isolation and anxiety that come with a primarily online life and mandatory social distancing.
We have also had to make other difficult decisions in light of the State of Emergency. All University of Toronto and Trinity College buildings are now closed to the general public. The John W. Graham Library is offering service and support in an online format only. Our food services have been dramatically reduced to take out only and most public spaces on campus have been closed. Our residence students who can return home are being asked to do so. We are finalizing a plan for residence refunds and alongside the university are working on emergency financial support to students. Of course, we will also continue to provide residence space to those students, such as international students, who do not have the option of returning home. Therefore the College will continue to have a limited number of essential Trinity employees onsite to ensure operational continuity, as well as to support our remaining residence students. We also have various measures in place, based on guidance from public health officials, to help keep those living on campus as safe as possible.
In all of this, I want you to know that our amazing staff have stepped up in incredible ways—working long hours, coming up with thoughtful solutions to problems we never thought we would encounter, and all the while doing it with wisdom and warmth. But despite the positive energy everyone is displaying, as Provost I can tell you that it is terribly sad for all of us to see our wonderful students packing up to return home under such difficult circumstances. We will all miss our daily contact with them.
Last week along with the wider University of Toronto community, we also made the difficult decision to cancel or reschedule all in-person events at the College from March 12 through to April 30, 2020. Many of these were long-planned and important events that do so much to make Trinity what it is and I know how disappointed we all were that we could not go ahead with them. The College will continue to assess the situation and will update you with respect to events after April 30. For members of the community who sit on Trinity College governance bodies and other committees, final decisions on the postponement of meetings or alternate meeting formats have yet to be made. You will be updated by your chair or staff liaison as soon as possible.
Please be assured that while the COVID-19 situation goes on we are thinking hard about how to connect with our community during these strange times and looking forward to being able to gather in person once again.
As you will be aware, the situation is one that is constantly evolving. Though we will do our best to keep you apprised as things go forward, we also wanted to direct you to our website and some other sources, which are updated frequently as information becomes available:
I know this is a stressful situation for everyone but I do hope that this update is helpful. I wish I had better news for you in a world that seems all too full of distressing information. However, it is sometimes in the darkest moments that we see the strength, wisdom and generosity of those around us. That is most certainly the case here at Trinity.
Finally, I wanted to wish you all well. While we cannot meet in person at the moment, we look forward to staying in touch and to finding other ways to connect in the days ahead.
We all wish you and your loved ones the very best,
Provost and Vice-Chancellor