Ready for Renewal
2021-22 was another demanding year at Conrad Grebel University Collegeas it was everywhere. Much of this year at the College was spent pivotingadapting our programs to the constraints of the pandemic. We made plans, and frequently changed them, as COVID-19 developed in unexpected ways. Most classes remained online through the fall term, and the return to in-person study in winter term was delayed due to the Omicron wave.
In these less-than-ideal circumstances, Grebel continued to express its mission in powerful ways. There were stimulating public lectures, remarkable concerts, and countless ah-ha moments in the classroom. In April, we held a moving in-person Convocation celebration for our graduatesour first in three years.
Our residence continued to be a place of welcome and belonging for a wonderfully diverse group of students. Thalia Stefania Criollo Guererro, a Music major from Chile, described her first-year experience this way: I was surprised about the true commitment to community. Here I have also met friends for life from multiple backgrounds, not just cultures, but also with identities and sets of beliefs different than mine.
In a year when it was challenging to look even two or three weeks ahead, we lifted our sights to develop a new three-year Strategic Plan, which our Board adopted in April 2022. Thinking together about the future was a welcome respite from pandemic pivoting, and it helped to restore our sense of purpose and hope. The plan, entitled Renewing an inspired community expresses our thirst for new vitality and spirit, and our interest in reimagining what Grebel can be at its best. After two years of pandemic, we are ready for renewal.
Our plan invites us to build on the best of what we do at Grebelfocusing on the student experience, the reach of our teaching and scholarship, and the quality of our relationships with the University of Waterloo, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, and our many other community partners. We hope youll take some time to read the plan, which is available at uwaterloo.ca/grebel/strategic-plan.
Grebel is a vibrant, resilient place because of the many people who belong to the College community. On behalf of the Board, we thank everyoneour faculty, staff, alumni, partners, donors, and especially our studentsfor your diverse contributions to the College through these trying times.