Stone archway and gate leading into gardens

Meeting Minds
in North America


Dear Oxonians and Friends of Oxford,
Greetings from Manhattan.  I write to you, not from the Oxford North American Office in midtown, but from my home on the Upper West Side.  Given the hardship and heartache that has descended upon this city and many other parts of the world during the pandemic, I hope you and your loved ones are well.
While I have tried not to look at my calendar quite so often to see what I had been planning to do on a given day, I needed no such reminder this morning.  Today was to have been the start of the 2020 Oxford North American Alumni Weekend here in New York.  Along with the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor, and many members of the Oxford academic community, my colleagues and I were looking forward to interacting with several hundred alumni and friends of Oxford for two days of intellectual engagement, camaraderie, and celebration.  While I regret we will not be gathering in New York this weekend, I have faith in the resiliency and vibrancy of the Oxonian community in North America.
As the world continues to grapple with this crisis, we begin to see reasons for hope, including within Oxford, where important work on COVID-19 continues (more below).  In this spirit of looking forward with optimism, I am pleased to announce that the University leadership has agreed to schedule a revised edition of the Oxford Alumni Weekend to be held in New York on April 16 and 17, 2021.  While we are fully aware that the plans for these events may need to be modified and adapted depending on the state of the world, we invite you to hold these dates in your calendar and to join us in looking forward with optimism.  
It would be remiss of me not to take this opportunity to highlight the vital work being done in Oxford targeting the coronavirus.  Last night, the Director of the University's Jenner Institute, Prof. Adrian Hill, appeared on CNN to describe the promising vaccine being developed by a team led by Prof. Sarah Gilbert, that is entering human trials.  This is one of several initiatives taking place across a broad cross-section of academic disciplines within the University that is seeking to move as quickly and efficiently as possible to produce results that will help to end this pandemic.  This microsite provides much more information, along with the option to make a gift in support of this important research:
I hope that, like me, you have come to feel proud of the way Oxford has risen to the challenge presented by this crisis.  This essay written by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Louise Richardson, in Foreign Affairs magazine, describes how the University, in keeping with its core values, has taken a highly collaborative, international approach to its work on COVID-19:
My colleagues and I have been working to assemble digital materials that we hope will help you continue to feel connected to the University. The following link will provide access to video presentations recorded by a number of the Oxford academics who had been scheduled to appear tomorrow as part of the academic program of the North American Alumni Weekend:
In the weeks ahead, we will be posting additional digital presentations and on Wednesday 22 April, Earth Day, our office will be hosting a live Zoom session with Professor Nathalie Seddon.  You may register for this event by following this link:
In closing, my colleagues both here in New York, as well as those in Oxford, join me in thanking you for being an interested and involved member of the Oxford global community.  In a time when we are able to pause and consider what is truly important in life, we deeply appreciate this opportunity to be in touch with you and to help you stay connected to this great University.

Stay well,
Michael G. Cunningham
Executive Director
University of Oxford North American Office

Overhead view of Radcliffe Camera and adjacent colleges