Spring has sprung! It was a long winter for us all, but sunshine and warmer weather have finally arrived, providing us with a much-needed boost and optimism for the days and months ahead.
This academic term continued to be governed by Covid-19 conditions and teaching occurred mostly through online lecturing. For a few of our hands-on courses we did deliver mandatory in-person components in the form of on-campus laboratories and practical experiences (such as visits to our farm). When the Covid-19 situation in Montreal temporarily improved in February, we were able to make available additional in-person options for other courses. Those students who were in Montreal could seize this opportunity to interact with their peers and course instructors in person. For some of the first-year students these might have been the first opportunities to meet classmates at Macdonald Campus.
Through this academic year we all learned to adapt to new forums of discussion and new forms of engaging with our very resilient and committed students. We should be very proud that we have overcome so much and managed to come out on top despite the challenges and difficulties we have faced.
On the upside, while so many things are different, the loyalty of our alumni is unchanged! On March 10, the global McGill community came together for McGill24—our annual day of giving. Thank you to all who donated to Macdonald that day—we raised $140,000 to support initiatives at the Faculty. Way to go, Mac!
On March 31, McGill University launched our Bicentennial anniversary with two very special events. I am pleased to say that the Faculty played an integral part on that day, hosting the first of the Bicentennial conference series on global challenges. The virtual conference A Road Map for Greater Food Security and Autonomy, which focused on public policy in Quebec and Canada, and the role that higher education can play in increasing local food production and ensuring a safe and healthy food supply, is available to all. Following the conference, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, MD’18, and Heleena De Oliveira, BA’21, hosted a virtual celebration filled with music, 200 challenges, stories and more. If you missed out on these events you can still access them on McGill’s Bicentennial site.
Although I cannot say with certainty what the Fall semester will look like, I do know that no matter what, Macdonald will continue to forge ahead as a community and will remain committed to supporting our students and faculty by providing them with the tools to succeed. I hope you all enjoy this beautiful spring and I look forward to reconnecting soon.