They say April showers bring May flowers, and certainly in Cambridge, the tulips, daffodils, and crocuses mark the transition to spring.

I went on a run yesterday and passed through HLS to say hello to campus. It was my first time back in weeks. I’m used to seeing so many faces I know and love as I cut through the crossroads in front of the WCC. The quiet and stillness felt palpable.

In an alternate reality, this past weekend would have been our April Admitted Students Weekend, and Wasserstein Hall would have been filled with hundreds of members of the Class of 2023, clad in nametags and carrying our signature ASW tote bags.

Our ASW events may look like they exist to provide information to admitted students considering HLS, but there’s a much more important purpose behind the weekend: help our incoming class build a community with one another.

Only days after our March ASW, Harvard announced the shift to remote learning and work, and the J.D. Admissions team pivoted from ASW planning to virtual programming. As of this morning, we have held over eighty events, with well over a dozen to go before May 1. That number is a testament to the broader HLS community. I’m floored by the number of community members who jumped into action to connect with admitted students – student organizations who hosted info sessions on Zoom, faculty who volunteered to teach mock classes, and librarians who scrambled to film a beautiful tour before campus shut down.

But most of all, I’m impressed by the Class of 2023. This is not the spring you had envisioned when you started drafting your personal statements just a few months ago. Many of you had expected to be here on campus with us this week – some visiting Cambridge for the first time. And yet you have handled this unexpected transition with good humor, grace, and resilience.

Thank you for meeting Section 4 and Section 6 this past week (aren’t they awesome!??! I just love #HLS2022). Thank you for preparing for your mock classes on Zoom. Thank you for your patience as the admissions team sorted you into breakout rooms during the virtual hangout. And thanks for stopping by my office hours – introducing you to one another is my favorite part of my job.

Most of all, thank you for showing up to build community with one another. Your class will not have the same spring visit weekend experience as other classes. But you will have your own experience. And I am confident you will bond in your own way, as a class and as a supportive community.

– KJ

Filed in: Assistant Dean's Corner

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