Dear OAH Members and All Meeting Participants,
We thank you for your continued patience as we navigate the uncharted territory of the COVID-19 outbreak. We had hoped that the spread of the virus might abate, but clearly it has not. After much discussion, research, and careful deliberation, the OAH Executive Committee voted yesterday to cancel the 2020 OAH Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
The Annual Meeting is several years in the making, and we did not make this decision lightly. The Program Committee, chaired by Margot Canaday and Craig Steven Wilder, and the Local Resource Committee, chaired by Adam Rothman and Suzy Smith, as well as many others, worked diligently to put together one of our best OAH programs ever. We know that many of you have spent time and energy preparing for your sessions, and we so looked forward to hearing your research at the meeting. But, in the end, the health of our members, vendors, staff, and volunteers, as well as our obligation to public health more generally, had to take precedence.
What you need to know:
- We recommend that you cancel your travel arrangements and hotel reservations as soon as possible. The hotel will charge you for your room if you do not cancel at least 72 hours before your scheduled check-in date. You can reach the Marriott Wardman Park at (202) 328-2000 or via their website.
- The cancellation of the conference comes with significant financial repercussions for our organization. To help us mitigate the costs, we ask those of you who are financially able to donate your registration fee to the OAH. If that’s not possible, we will of course refund the fee. We will also refund any meal or tour tickets. The OAH registration refund policy is in effect until March 25.
- The OAH will be working through details of other meetings (such as committee meetings) during the next few days. We will be in touch with committee members.
- Given the small staff at the OAH office, we ask for your patience as we address refunds and notifications. We will work as quickly as we can to address any issues that arise.
We greatly appreciate the kind messages of concern that many of you have sent us. Our staff has worked overtime to address this situation. We especially want to thank Hajni Selby, our Director of Programming and Conferences, who has steered this conference from the start and is now working to make the cancellation as smooth as possible for all of us.
Thank you again for your support and patience.