Dear members of the Alumni community,
The fiscal year covered in this annual report has been like no other. For its entirety, the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on campus and across our alumni community.
While filled with uncertainty, it also pushed us to connect in new ways. All year long, the Alumni Relations team worked to bring the uOttawa alumni community closer together, inform and entertain.
Several digital initiatives were launched, such as a virtual book club, and the uOttaKnow podcast, and a new web series on entrepreneurial alumni from the world called “The Link”.
Key events traditionally held in person went virtual. The Alex Trebek lecture series and AGM 2020 were held online. Hundreds tuned in to our first virtual annual gala to celebrate 2020 and 2021 Alumni Award winners.
While there is a lot to celebrate, we had to put some programming favourites on hold. Regional Council events came to a halt due to bans on travel and gatherings. We also missed the traditional Wine and Etiquette Dinner as well as other on-campus events.
Before the pandemic, discussions about how we could support student mental health had already started. The need for services grew exponentially throughout the pandemic. In response, the Alumni Associations committed $500,000 over five years to expand mental health services at the university.
We also lost some influential members of our Alumni community. Our most famous alumnus, Alex Trebek, passed in Autumn 2020. His lifelong generosity continues to have an impact.
In early 2021, we also lost Dr. Jack Elstein. A graduate of the Faculty of Medicine in 1976 who was ready to give back to his alma mater, he was recently appointed to the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors.
In closing, I thank you again for your loyalty to the University of Ottawa Alumni community, and I invite you to stay in touch as we grow together.
The next step looks promising!
Valérie Gervais, BJour’08
President, Alumni Association