There are two occasions in each academic year that stand out for everyone at UCI. One is convocation at the beginning of the year, when we welcome our new students as they set out on one of the great adventures of their lives. The other is commencement, when we say farewell to them as they begin the journey of fulfilling their individual dreams. As we celebrate the accomplishments of the class of 2021, I want to take a moment to reflect on the year gone by.
This past year has been difficult for all of us. Together we have faced one of the fiercest challenges of our lifetimes. When we moved to remote learning and remote work in March 2020, we had no idea that we would be away from our classrooms and office spaces for well more than a year, that virtually every aspect of how we live, work, and play would be upset, and that COVID-19 would take such a prolonged toll on our lives.
You’ve risen magnificently to these challenges and proven that the foundation of our success is our people – the faculty, staff and students who make this a place where some of the world’s most innovative and transformative work is performed, regardless of the environment. I am proud of each of you for maintaining this standard during an extraordinarily trying time.
Over the summer months many of us will gradually return to our offices and workspaces as the campus prepares to welcome students back to campus in the fall. Our priority is, as always over the past 15 months, maintaining your health and safety. We will keep you informed of our progress as decisions are made.
Pulling together, we will continue to advance through this pandemic and enter our brilliant future. I hope you will be able to take some time this summer to pause and rejuvenate, and I look forward to seeing you all on campus in the fall.