Welcome everyone to the winter issue of View, and what is the first-ever all-digital edition of your Alumni magazine.
View is just one of the many things we've been looking at over the past year, to not only adapt to these challenging times but to do things better. And that's been the driving force behind the decision to reimagine View.
It also means you've received View in your mailbox minutes after we've pushed the "publish button." In the past, that has often taken up to six weeks, and that is just too long in today's world.
And as we all know, it's very much a world - at least for now - that is often unpredictable and nearly always uncertain.
Over the past nine months, COVID-19 has affected nearly everything at the University of Windsor. And the virus has had an enormous impact that's led to the online delivery of the majority of classes and the need for a large percentage of both staff and faculty to work remotely. This will likely continue well into the new year.
I'm proud to say that our students, staff and faculty have all done a terrific job. And our number one priority continues to be doing everything that we can to maintain the health and safety of our campus community.
We also know it's been a challenging year for our nearly 150,000-strong alumni family.
But our bond with you remains stronger than ever, and we look forward to the day when we can welcome all of you back to your campus for a visit, and hopefully for the traditional Alumni Week celebrations next fall.
One thing we are also extremely proud of in October was the introduction of our first virtual Convocation. The goal was to stage an event that would provide our 5,000 spring and fall graduates with the opportunity to receive their degrees, take the spotlight, and share their accomplishments with the ones they care about most. It was a great success.
And I have to also point out that your Alumni Association has done a great job to keep you informed through weekly newsletters and virtual events like the Alumni Sports Hall of Fame Induction and the Annual General Meeting.
Within the pages of View, we think you'll find some uplifting stories that reflect the sense of optimism that COVID-19 can't diminish. There's the inspiring story of alumna Jennifer Jones BA'91, soon to be the first woman president in the history of Rotary International. And stories highlighting a generous and timely gift from the Rodzik family to support the Transforming Windsor Law project, and the incredible dedication of our researchers.
Going forward, despite all that we've been through, we want you to know that your University continues to be dedicated to providing the same great education that you were able to benefit from.
Wishing you all the best over the holidays, and we'll see you soon.
DR. ROB GORDON President and Vice-Chancellor
WELCOME FROM KEN ALEXANDER
UNIVERSITY OF WINDSOR ALUMNI ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT
As we come to the end of the year, we often feel nostalgic about the past 12 months. We remember the times shared with loved ones, significant milestones achieved, and often, lessons learned. We may not feel quite as sentimental as we say goodbye to 2020.
The year has certainly provided us with many challenges, but many opportunities as well. This time in our lives has also shown how resilient, strong and supportive we are as a community. The stories of heroism and individual acts of kindness are everywhere, and this has been a consistent theme since we first faced the reality of COVID-19 last March. In the face of uncertainty, so much good has been revealed about our collective character in the face of trying times.
As the new President of the Alumni Association, I look forward to meeting many of you virtually and one day soon, face to face. I am both honoured and proud to carry the torch that Beth Ann Prince BA’91 has held for the past two years. Beth Ann led us through a tumultuous past year, and, on behalf of Alumni everywhere, I thank her warmly for her commitment and leadership during these unprecedented times.
I hope that the Lancer spirit continues to fill your homes, offices, and communities not only in 2020 but beyond. I trust that you will continue to harness the forward-thinking, can-do attitude that embodies our University community. I also hope that wherever you are, you will bring some of that energy “home” to Windsor and help us continue to build a blueprint for excellence in higher education. Under the leadership of our new President Rob Gordon, we are generating new and exciting endeavours. I couldn’t be more optimistic and excited about our future, and it is my goal that you will feel the same.
As your representative, I have many occasions to congratulate Alumni on various awards that they achieve. Recently I sent a letter to a professor and received a response back thanking for me for the note sent on behalf of the Alumni Association, he went on to say the following which I share with you:
"Any success or recognition that my lab gets is all due to the passionate, motivated and hard-working students who have a strong will to bring positive change for human health. I feel proud of my students, and find myself the richest person in the world who has an association with this bright future generation who is committed to selfless service to every human being."
I believe that it is a unique characteristic of UWindsor that the award winner says that all their success is due to their students, who will be the Alumni Association members.
At the Alumni Association, we continue to search for unique ways to engage with our close to 150,000 graduates across the globe. We are excited to explore new virtual event platforms and look forward to offering a wide range of online opportunities to engage over the next year. You may also have participated in the online Alumni Book Club, the virtual events that comprised Alumni Week 2020 (such as the popular Wine Tasting with Cooper’s Hawk Vineyard) and our first-ever Alumni Association virtual Annual General Meeting. There is so much more to come; be sure to check your inbox and uwindsor.ca/alumni for updates on coming alumni events and initiatives. I’m eager to hear from you as we strive to make our school an even better place for students and outstanding scholarship.
If you have any specific ideas you would like to share on ways we can connect please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe and I wish you health and happiness in 2021! KEN ALEXANDER, BPA'87, LLB'92 President, Alumni Association
401 Sunset Avenue
Windsor, Ont., Canada