Looking Back at UFV's 2020 Scrolling through the year we'll never forget

University Relations

It started like any other...

Students, staff, and faculty returned from winter break and Cascades players were firing on all cylinders.

New Student Orientation lit up campuses with renewed energy and smiling faces.

We gathered in groups to celebrate and learn — from former politician John Jansen's inspiring President's Leadership Lecture, to Jean Barman's revelatory book reading.

Building K officially opened its doors, with former owner and generous donor Paul Esposito on hand to help cut the cake following a Stó:lõ ceremony.

Dr. Lenore Newman's latest book, Lost Feast, was celebrated upon release.

By mid-March, UFV was humming along in the routine of late-semester activities.

Students were cramming for mid-terms, preparing assignments, working on group projects. Faculty were firming up their last few weeks of lectures.

Long Night Against Procrastination & UFV's Trades and Technology Centre Open House got our buildings buzzing.

UFV's Theatre department began its run of William Shakespeare's Richard III around the same time a three-part series launched addressing intimate partner violence.

Hugs, tears, and laughter were all on tap when Tamara Taggart joined Shahana Alibhai and Kate Horsman for the President’s Leadership Lecture Series event Finding our Voice: The Conversations We Don’t Have.

And then everything changed...

On March 15, UFV announced a week-long pause in courses so faculty could adapt their curriculum to a remote learning model.

On March 23, classes resumed, with almost all instruction taking place remotely and most students, professors, and staff working and studying from home.

Only a handful of programs were able to continue in-person sessions, with extra safety measures firmly in place.

We adapted.

Students and faculty shifted between synchronous and asynchronous schedules. Staff turned extra bedrooms and kitchen tables into remote offices.

Many employees generously redirected parking fees into UFV's Student Emergency Fund.

Graduates were recognized with personalized boxes including their caps, and award winners were visited from a distance by President Joanne MacLean.

Recent Nursing grad Amy Mueller's heartfelt image (below) became a symbol for continued success, landing her on the cover of this year's Skookum magazine.

And throughout it all, the generosity of those supporting our students never stopped, including the community-driven Nick Taylor Pro Am fundraising golf tournament, the incredible support of Dr. Dhami (main image) and generous contributions by CIVL Radio (below) and others.

CityStudio Abbotsford also shared some good news, relocating into the newly renovated Centennial Building in the heart of historical Abbotsford.

Three new UFV research centres launched in 2020: the Community Health and Social Innovation Hub, the Peace and Reconciliation Centre, and the Esposito Family Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship — all busily making community connections while launching research projects and partnerships.

The President’s Office released an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion action plan, which made several commitments, including the hiring of an EDI director, and the publication of a wall calendar noting important EDI-related dates.

Despite our distance, discussions around social justice continued, carried by the long-standing UFV Race and Anti-Racism Network, and other anti-racism events and workshops.

We work and wait. Learn and live. One day we'll gather again, talking over assignments or meeting face to face. Until then, our commitment to education never wavers.

“Nothing about this year has been easy. We have been required to change the way we work and learn at a rate we never imagined. Our faculty, staff, and students have revealed that they are strong, adaptable, compassionate, and exceptional. In this complex environment, we have remained steadfast to our mission of engaging learners, transforming lives, and building community. I have never been prouder to be a part of the UFV community.”

~ President Joanne MacLean