One year since our world changed

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Chancellor Cindy Larive

March 12, 2021

Dear campus community,

One year ago this week, we announced that all classes and final exams would be remote for the rest of the winter quarter. We did not know then that we would spend the rest of the year primarily remote and that we would find ourselves where we are now — marking such a somber anniversary one year later. We can count the days we have been apart, but not what we have lost.

Each of us has been touched by the pandemic in some way — through the loss of some of our community members, our loved ones and our friends; through the isolation wrought by the new ways we have been forced to live to promote safety; and through the sacrifice of so many opportunities that seemed all but guaranteed previously. We are also still grappling with the pandemic of racism and inequity that COVID-19 has thrown into acute relief. These problems are not behind us, but I am encouraged that we face them together as an engaged, creative and compassionate community.

There are no silver linings bright enough or lessons learned that can possibly make up for the past year. The cost has been unbearably high. But amid the loss and pain, I also feel a deep well of gratitude for those essential workers in areas such as agriculture, health care, and food service, who have helped to shepherd us through this difficult time. I am deeply grateful as well for our community and for how we have stayed connected despite all that would pull us apart. I would like to mark this anniversary with that gratitude and with hope for a future that looks very different from our past

Many criticize higher education for being old-fashioned and incapable of change. Our campus disproves that. UC Santa Cruz began as an experiment in higher education and we have continuously embraced that notion, adapting to the changing world and striving to improve it. In that way, this year is not an exception, but one more example of what makes us special. It has not been easy by any means. It took every person in our community working toward the common goal of continuing our world-changing work while prioritizing well-being. I know that we still have many challenges to face, but with each week I am becoming even more optimistic about the future. More than anything, I am grateful for each of you.

Remember no matter where you are, you’re still a Banana Slug.


View a slideshow of recent photos from UC Santa Cruz.