HOPE Center, Duke Cancel Events in Response to Coronavirus

The novel coronavirus has forced the HOPE Center to cancel its remaining events and gatherings through at least May 31, 2020.

The 2020 Summer Institute, scheduled for June 7–11, will for the moment occur as planned.

The cancelations are part of a Duke-wide decision to cancel all events and unnecessary travel through that date, as well as to hold all remaining classes online rather than in person. 

The decision was announced by Vincent Price, the president of Duke University, during Spring Break. The break was extended to a second week to give professors and students time to make the necessary transition.

Students who went away for Spring Break were asked not to return unless absolutely necessary.

The Center’s director, Bruce Caldwell, and associate director, Steve Medema, are closely monitoring developments. 

An event close to the HOPE Center's mission, the 2020 meeting of the History of Economics Society, has also been canceled. Bruce Caldwell was elected this year as the newest Distinguished Fellow of the society.

The virus upended the year for several HOPE Center fellows. Two are sheltering in place in Orlando and Chicago, and at least three others returned home early. 

The HOPE Center will soon initiate visa-related paperwork for the 2020-21 fellows. But at the moment it is unclear whether the new fellows will be able to start arriving in late August as they normally do.

In his most recent message to the Duke community, President Price asked students, faculty, and staff to keep following the safety recommendations from the CDC and other health care officials, urging them to look after their own health as well as the health of others. 

“Throughout Duke’s first century, we’ve often been called upon to provide real leadership in the world, and today, we hear that call again,” President Price said in a recent statement. “I know that we will answer it by demonstrating the abiding values and commitment to service that will carry us through to the even more extraordinary century to come.”

The spread of the virus has caused significant changes in the daily lives of North Carolinians and billions more around the world. Bars, restaurants, and coffeeshops have either closed or are now takeout or delivery only. Gyms, theaters, and salons have been ordered to close as well.

As of March 23, North Carolina had at least 343 cases of coronavirus, according to data from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and county health departments. Forty-one of those cases were in Durham County.

For the latest news and developments, visit the coronavirus response page on the Duke website.