This is not the 2020 I had imagined just six short months ago. Each day finds me learning a new way to navigate a formerly simple task. A standardized “new normal” has not yet materialized, and for a planner like me that has become increasingly hard. While my 40s were already teaching me to become comfortable with change, COVID-19 and our constantly changing world has inspired my new favorite word: GRACE.
During the month of June it seemed all my worlds collided. While an epidemiologic phenomenon continued to unfold, a too-long delayed civil rights movement gained nationwide momentum, the Supreme Court made it illegal for me to be fired for being a lesbian, the controversial flag of my home state was repealed, and the week-long annual meeting for my laboratory professional society pivoted to become entirely virtual – complete with Zoom yoga breaks, kazoo meet-ups and evening happy hours. On campus, President Nora Miller kept faculty, staff and students safe by maintaining distance requirements and limiting the number of individuals on campus at any one time, and we all were wondering what long-standing W traditions like Move-in Day, Blues Week and organization recruitments would look like this fall.
It feels as though we began writing a new rule book for our MUWAA Board of Directors. Each of us has been keeping an open mind and trying new things, exploring creative ways to connect and engage with our alumni and extending each other a lot of GRACE. In July, the MUWAA Board of Directors held Board orientation, a development workshop and the Summer Board Meeting 100% remotely. The highlight of our extended screen-time was the Zoom Happy Hour with President Miller! I hope many of you were able to join the business meeting and see/hear first-hand how your directors have been keeping busy. If you could not join us in July, be on the lookout for information for the upcoming Fall Board Meeting in October when our Diversity & Inclusion Committee will present formal Diversity, Inclusion & Equity programming to the MUWAA Board and Committee Chairs.
I want to encourage thoughtful conversations regarding perceptions and barriers among our alumni to learn what keeps someone from being more involved. Through honest and candid discussion, I hope we can identify ways the MUWAA and the Board of Directors can build and strengthen relationships with more of our alumni base and, in turn, strengthen the Long Blue Line.
Please stay safe and healthy!
With W spirit and pride,
Class of 2000