2020-21 Grebel Annual Report

Coming Together in Crisis

“To everything there is a season....a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.” —Ecclesiastes 3:5

2021 was a season for social distance and self-isolation—a time when we refrained from embracing. But at Grebel, it was also a season when we came together to meet the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on wells of goodwill and spirit, we found new and creative ways to deliver our programs, extend our community, and pursue our mission. 

Faculty came together and transitioned to online teaching, doing their very best to deliver learning experiences marked by care and personal connection. Despite the pandemic, academic enrolments increased and our courses and instructors were highly rated by students. Public lectures, concerts, and community education programs all moved online with great success, deepening our commitment to reach beyond our campus to the community at large. 

Staff came together to carry on their crucial work—some pivoted to working from home, while other front-line staff continued on campus. All demonstrated resilience, commitment, and creativity in the face of an enormous disruption to their normal work environment. 

Our residence students came together to build a community, despite protocols that suspended community suppers and restricted sports, dances, and other social activities. They were also impeccable public health citizens, embracing the idea that wearing masks and following other guidelines was the best way to care for each other during this crisis. Only one case of COVID-19 was reported among our residence students over the entire year. 

Our supporters came together to stand by the College during a time of financial uncertainty. We’re extremely grateful to report that gifts to our annual Grebel Fund totaled $406,000. That’s a record number, and 21% higher than the previous year.

It was not an easy year at Grebel—or anywhere. As we begin the return to a more normal pattern of work and life, many of our faculty, staff, and students are tired, frayed, and in need of restoration. We also sense that the post-pandemic world will bring new uncertainties and unknown challenges. There is a season for everything, but we don’t know what the next “season” will demand from us. The past year proves that we know how to come together in challenging times, and this gives us the confidence to face the year ahead. 

Marcus Shantz

Paul Fieguth
Chair, Board of Governors

Read the complete Annual Report (PDF)