Coronavirus update & calendar changes

March 18, 2020

Dear Henry David Thoreau Foundation community,

On behalf of the trustees and selection committee, we want to express our sincere concerns about our country’s health, the health of you and your loved ones, and your hopes for the future.

A public health crisis of this scale requires adapting to unexpected scenarios and high uncertainty, and comes with many costs in the short and long term, including cancelling events and programs. With heavy hearts we are writing to inform you of two major changes to the Thoreau Foundation 2020 calendar:

- Our annual reception at Boston’s Museum of Science on May 9th has been cancelled.
- Our Sea Education Association leadership program aboard the Corwith Cramer from June 16-20 out of Woods Hole has been cancelled.

We will do our best to find postponement dates and ways to bring us together.

To our eight incoming Thoreau Scholars, Class of 2024:
We extend our congratulations and warmest welcome again to each of you.
Though our reception has been cancelled, we will work to help you feel connected to us and find a way to celebrate at another time. Jackie Miller will contact you to explain the steps you need to take before you start college.

To our Thoreau Scholars, Class of 2020
We are especially sad to miss celebrating our four years together and your graduations. You will still be formally recognized as Thoreau Scholars, even if it means celebrating you at next year’s reception. We are incredibly proud of all that you’ve achieved and look forward to hearing about your next steps with new jobs, fellowships, travel adventures, and graduate school programs.

To our Thoreau Scholars, Class of 2021-2023
We are going to miss catching up in person with each of you. We encourage you to look to one another for extra support as you navigate changes to your collegiate years. We also hope that you will extend an extra hello to our incoming class of Thoreau Scholars since you won’t be meeting them in May. If you’d like to set up webinars or other ways to connect remotely, even if simply more informal virtual coffee chats, we will work to help make new ideas happen. Tell us what you need. It matters that we stay connected.

To our Faculty Grantees
We welcome you wholeheartedly and we are excited about working together. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about how this pandemic impacts your grant work. Keep us in the loop of any special issues arising at your school with respect to your projects and programs. We are here to support you to the best of our ability.

We are learning more each day during this destabilized time. We are doing everything we can to adapt, learn, and continue to serve our mission while keeping steady and positive. We hope that this crisis reminds you of who you’re becoming and what you’re a part of. We will continue to help you harness your environmental passions and forward-thinking. The Henry David Thoreau Foundation community has been an inspiration to us for 20 years. We will find a way forward, together.

To our country’s health and yours,
John Galvin
Henry David Thoreau Foundation, President