I have thought about this New Year’s message for days. 

As I reflected on the possibilities for 2022, I was genuinely excited and optimistic. I was energized by the possibilities before us. 

The professional possibilities of 2022 are considerable. This year, we will begin our Remote Work Arrangement pilot year and advance discussions about the future of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to support Queen’s advancement work. In the first six months of 2022 alone, the Office of Advancement will try a completely new approach to annual planning that we hope is both streamlined and more closely aligned to our strategic priorities. We will confirm or advance some incredible gift discussions. And the entire Queen’s community will work together to determine fundraising priorities for the first time in almost 10 years. 

Despite my Pollyanna tendencies, I know we will make mistakes this year, and some of our efforts will not succeed. The Advancement Leadership Team has informally begun discussing these missteps on Fridays, now under the banner of Friday Fails. However, as Scott points out, Friday Fails could be followed by Miracle Mondays. Anticipating that there will be successes to balance our missteps, my optimism about professional possibilities in 2022 therefore remains intact.

Undoubtedly there will also be some wonderful personal developments. Colleagues will get married, welcome new children and/or pets to their families, purchase or redecorate homes, and maybe just read an incredible book they want to share.

Having said all that, I must also acknowledge that the start of 2022 is likely one of our most challenging moments in recent memory. While our respective experiences are all different and personal, the unrelenting nature of the pandemic has exacted a toll on our communities, our families, and on each of us as individuals. The evolution of the pandemic continues to affect us as we begin 2022, and that will inevitably impact which possibilities can be realized this year – both professionally and personally.

So, I will say this:  

While I hope we can realize the possibilities that this year presents, what I hope for more is that we are able to work together as a team and support one another through whatever happens over the course of this next year. With that collaboration in place, there is room for optimism to exist side-by-side with the current implications of the pandemic – in the same way that Friday Fails can be followed by Miracle Mondays. 

Welcome back, and happy New Year, everyone. Whatever happens next, we will address it together.

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