Office of Advancement
Office of Advancement

ALTogether Now

Vol. 80 – January 4, 2021

exterior photo of Summerhill building


Karen Bertrand

Welcoming 2021

By Karen Bertrand, Vice-Principal (Advancement)

Optimism and excitement for the year ahead is pervasive at this time of year. We are renewed by the fresh start and anticipate the potential for new beginnings in the year ahead. For the 2021 new year, the possibility of returning to more social interactions thanks to a COVID-19 vaccine makes these sentiments particularly poignant. 
Much has been said about the desire to bring 2020 to an unceremonious end. As we begin the 2021 work year today – hopefully refreshed by the break – I hope we can nonetheless retain some of the unexpected positive outcomes of this past year and the knowledge we gained about ourselves.
In 2020 we innovated and worked with colleagues and partners across campus in ways and with an efficiency that was previously unheard of; we served our alumni and engaged them with the university to the benefit of both them and the institution; and through necessity we learned things about how our business could work that were unimaginable at the beginning of 2020.
Let’s protect those gains and build upon them for a better 2021.
In 2021 we can focus on finding new ways to interact with one another informally and socially – even if not yet in-person. We can become more adept at balancing ongoing work responsibilities with our personal lives while we are working remotely. United, we can make great progress this year on the objectives of Forward, Together.
2020 is now a year in history so we are appropriately focused on the year ahead. However, we can learn from history. American poet, novelist, and literary critic Robert Penn Warren once wrote that "History cannot give us a program for the future, but it can give us a fuller understanding of ourselves, and of our common humanity, so that we can better face the future." Welcome back everyone, and best wishes for the year ahead. We learned a lot about ourselves in 2020, so now we can move forward with the benefit of that knowledge as well as all the optimism a new year presents. Happy new year!