A Letter to the Community

Dear Harvard Community,

We hope this letter finds you well. We wanted to take this time to thank all the wonderful people who helped us last week. It was a very bittersweet week, but now we understand why Peter referred to Harvard and Adams House as his home, because we too felt at home here with everyone.

Thank you, President Faust, for your support and your kindness that you showed us throughout the week. Peter was so excited when he heard the news that you would be Harvard’s first female president that he quickly emailed us. We are so grateful that you were his president and that you continue to be so kind and compassionate towards the students, the community, to him, and to us.

We want to thank the entire Adams House community for being so hospitable, especially Masters Palfrey, the tutors, the house administration, and the staff. We are so happy to know that Peter spent his remaining years here at such a wonderful and loving house with such great and supportive people. He loved this house, and could imagine himself nowhere else. This house was to him, his own house.

Thank you, Dr. Dorothy Austin and The Memorial Church for the wonderful memorial service. It helped us in the healing process tremendously. We were deeply touched by the words of so many loving people. Peter was very lucky to have lived in this community.

We want to thank the Dean’s Office here at Harvard. We would not have been able to handle this situation without your flexibility and generosity. The entire office was incredibly supportive. Thank you for all the help and assistance that you provided us.

We want to thank the Phillips Brooks House Association for all the help that they provided us, including the wonderful reception after the memorial service. We really appreciate PBHA’s establishment of the Peter Wei Cai Memorial Scholarship Fund. Peter loved PBHA and what it is stood for. He was immensely dedicated to the Harvard Emergency Medical Serivces program, and worked incredibly hard to arrange not only more affordable classes for students, but also social gatherings to get to know his peers at HEMS better and more personally. He also loved teaching English as a Second Language so much on weekends. Thank you for all the support that you have given him and to us throughout this week.

We want to thank all the numerous musical organizations and individuals that performed and comforted us with their wonderful music—the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, the Mozart Society Orchestra, the Bach Society Orchestral, the Glee Club, the Krokodiloes, the Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus, David Trippett and Paula Downes, and many other talented individuals. Peter grew up loving music and thoroughly enjoyed performing with the MSO while on campus, so we thank them for the beautiful and peaceful music during the service, the Requiem, and at all occasions. We are glad that he was able to spend his remaining years here, thriving and learning amongst numerous talented musicians.

We want to thank the Harvard University Police Department, for without their thoughtful help we would not have been able to visit Peter’s home. The ease, availability, and kindness with which you guided us around campus was impeccable. We are so lucky to have had you by our side at all times.

We want to thank the Adams House Dining Hall staff and managers. Peter always highly praised your food and service, and we are so happy to know that what he always said is not only true, but exceeded our expectations. Thank you for providing us and Peter with comforting and loving food and care. We are so glad that he had people like you to look out for his well being every single day. He loved the food, but most importantly he loved the service and the people behind the food, so we thank you for that.

We also would like to thank the entire Harvard faculty, staff and friends in the community for all that you have done for us. Thank you so much for providing Peter with help, supportive, kindness, friendship, and love. We are so happy to know this community, and we do understand why Peter called Harvard his home. Thank you for everything.


Quan Cai, Ming Ding, Christine Li

Peter W. Cai, a junior in Adams House, passed away last month. This is an open letter from those closest to him.