Well, here we are. It’s the end of 2021 and I can’t say the year went how I expected. I didn’t expect we’d still be having such high rates of COVID-19, new variants, still wearing masks and keeping our distance. Maybe it was the optimist in me — and the fact that I’m not a scientist — that truly believed we’d have this all under control by now.
But here we are. We’re still fighting the fight and hoping for a better 2022. We all need to keep the faith and keep each other safe.
2021 certainly hasn’t been an easy year by any means, but there was plenty of brightness if you knew where to look. For me, things like vaccines and boosters, seeing family and friends more often, students returning to campus, my daughter’s wedding, hearing her sing again, and simple things like perfect summer days, a great meal and hugs from my dog lit up my year. If I focus on the positives, I can honestly say that all is bright.
We started the year with almost all students, staff and faculty working off campus in make-shift offices and classrooms and connecting only through computer screens. We’re finishing the year with the end of a semester that saw many more people returning to residence halls, offices, stages, Spartan Stadium and other campus venues.
We still had an incredible year, whether it was while we were on campus or while we were mostly remote. Spartans roll with the punches and make the best out of tough situations. We simply never gave up on learning, teaching, discovering, creating, working and changing the world.
If you’ve forgotten some of those achievements, you’re in luck. My incredibly talented colleagues put together a very cool video of some of the brightest Spartan highlights of the year. You seriously don’t want to miss it, so give the video a watch. And if you want to explore the featured stories, you can do that in the MSUToday feature Spartan year in review 2021.
You can also take a trip down memory lane by checking out The year in photos: 2021 that showcases some of our best shots of campus happenings.
And, because we don’t simply dwell on the past, we’re looking forward to making the next year and those after fantastic. President Stanley recently sent out a letter thanking Spartans for the past year and looking forward to what’s ahead. He also spent some time talking about the university’s strategic plan in detail in a recent podcast.
For me, some of the brightest moments of the year came from our resilient students. Students like Diana Talamantes-Valles, a sophomore majoring in hospitality business who recently won a contest for her incredible poem about her experience as a first-generation Latinx student from Southwest Detroit. Check out her story and poem in the Student view: From Southwest Detroit to East Lansing to learn more about this shining star.
I’m hopeful that 2022 will have many bright moments for all of us. As you wrap up your year, remember there is joy in giving as much as receiving. Give of yourself and your talents to light up someone else’s life. I wish you peace, love, health and happiness in whatever form suits you best. All is calm. All is bright. Spartans Will.