The Class of 2019 sings “Old Nassau” at the end of the 2019 P-rade.
Ethan Sterenfeld ’20

Princeton Reunions has been canceled for 2020 due to concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the University announced March 20. The annual gathering of alumni was scheduled for May 28-31. Last year’s festivities drew about 25,000 alumni and guests to campus.

“While we will miss this opportunity to gather with generations of Princetonians and family members for our flagship alumni event, we have determined that convening 25,000 people on campus for a large-scale, celebratory event — particularly one that relies on the dedication of hundreds of student employees and countless alumni volunteers — is not possible or prudent at this time,” the University announcement said.

After a three-year absence from 1943 through 1945, Reunions returned with the Victory Reunion of 1946.
University Archives, Princeton University Library
The announcement came nine days after Princeton decided to send most undergraduates home for the remainder of the spring semester. Fewer than 500 undergraduates remain on campus, according to Dean of the College Jill Dolan’s recent letter to faculty. Classes are set to resume online March 23, following the University’s spring-break week. The University has not yet announced plans for Commencement activities.

Princeton last put Reunions on hold during World War II, from 1943 through 1945, when President Harold Dodds *1914 wrote that continuing the gatherings would be “contrary to the spirit in which the University is serving in these crucial days.” Following the war, the famous Victory Reunion of 1946, which coincided with the University’s bicentennial, drew 7,300 alumni. Cancellations in 1917 and 1918, due to World War I, also were followed by a well-attended reunion in 1919.

Alumni and campus leaders are “currently exploring options for how we will celebrate our community in 2021 and beyond,” the University announcement said.