Welcome to the School’s second virtual Spring Celebration! I’m sure many of you were, like me, looking forward to the opportunity to gather and socialize with your colleagues and friends like we have in past years. Unfortunately, though we seem to be turning a corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, this year once again we were not in a position to gather in the large numbers we have become accustomed to.
While it is not as ideal as gathering in person, I would like to welcome you to the 2021 FFGS Spring Celebration, where we will virtually recognize this year’s award winners and enjoy a remote happy hour. We do look forward to gathering in person next year and hope you will be able to join us for that happy return to Austin Cary Forest and our traditional Spring Celebration.
To that end, please take a few moments to look through the long list of award winners. These fine people are examples of what makes the School a special place, and represent both the current and the future leaders in the fields of forestry, fisheries, and geospatial sciences. I want to personally congratulate each and every one of these recipients on their accomplishments, and thank them for all that they do.
I would also ask that you take a moment to reflect on the challenges of the past year, the extraordinary impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought on our lives and those of so many around the world, and the many lessons we’ve learned. I personally would like to thank all of our faculty, staff, and students for their dedication, for their resilience, and for their persistence in dealing with the uncertainties and trials associated with COVID over the past year.
In closing I would like to congratulate you all on the new name of our School. Our new name better describes what we do and who we are. While the new name is a visible recognition of each of our very important program areas, it is also a an acknowledgement that we are much more, and much greater, than the simple sum of our parts. While we should all be proud of our individual accomplishments, it is what we are able to accomplish together, and for others, that is a measure of our success.
Thank you, and happy Spring Celebration 2021.