Office of the President

December 14, 2020

In an unprecedented year, you have made an incredible impact

Ana Mari Cauce

Support and resources

Service to connect anyone with concerns about safety with the right resources

UW CareLink
Service for employees that connects you with experts who help you or your family members navigate life’s challenges

Child and Family Care
Tools and support for balancing the responsibilities of work and home

The Whole U
Resources for faculty and staff to promote holistic wellness and foster community

UW Bothell Counseling Center
For Bothell campus students seeking help coping with stress and mental health concerns

UW Counseling Center – Seattle
For Seattle campus students seeking help coping with stress and mental health concerns

UW Tacoma Counseling Center
For Tacoma campus students seeking help coping with stress and mental health concerns

As we prepare to turn the page on 2020, it’s hard to imagine a more challenging or tumultuous year. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation for your extraordinary determination, humanity and grace, the backbone of our community. It is these values that are captured in this collection of photos depicting some of the triumphs, tragedies and, most importantly, the resilience of our community over the past year:

cover image from 20 for 2020 photo collection

As students, scholars, teachers, colleagues and mentors, you have kept the UW moving forward. And while the challenges we face will not end on January 1, the new year does offer a moment to reflect on the last one and to look, with hope and renewed purpose, to the year ahead. Whatever 2021 holds, I am proud and reassured to be meeting it with this incredible community of people committed to impact for the greater good.

Your ingenuity and hard work have enabled students to learn, discovery to advance, and our communities to stay connected. Whether you work onsite, keeping our campus safe and functioning, or are working from home, your excellence continues to define our great public university. That includes work that is actively fighting the pandemic as well as fighting against injustice and for a more equitable future.

Holidays can add stress, so please don’t hesitate to ask for help through the many resources available, including UW CareLink and help for caregivers. Your tireless efforts are felt across Washington and the world, and you are just as deserving of care as all those you care for. The COVID-19 Employee Emergency Fund, supported by Husky Strong, is available for employees experiencing financial hardship. There is so much love and care happening in our community – don’t overlook caring for yourself. If you’re in need, reach out.

Students, we know that finals can be a stressful time under any circumstances, and this year, stress may be compounded by many factors. There is so much love and care happening in our community – virtually and in person — don’t overlook caring for yourself. Remember that remote counseling services are available to all students through counseling centers at Bothell, Seattle or Tacoma. You can also reach out to SafeCampus if you need help understanding what resources to access.

Instructors and students, we appreciate your ongoing flexibility and perseverance in this mostly remote learning environment. We still expect winter quarter to largely mirror fall quarter for instruction, but the virus remains in charge and we continue to monitor state health restrictions due to the ongoing surge. If conditions require adjustments to current operations or course delivery, we will update you immediately.

To our medical and healthcare professionals, all of Washington thanks you for what you have done and continue to do for patients, their families, and all of us as we strive to stay healthy and safe. We owe you a debt that can never be repaid, but we pledge to do all we can to slow the spread of COVID and to follow the guidance of health experts as we prepare for the roll-out of vaccines.

There is light on the horizon. Vaccines hold great promise; treatments are improving. As a community, we are meeting this challenge together and I know we have what it takes to see it through to the end. Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” Over the last year, I have seen how quickly your “little bits of good” have added up, and I thank you for each and every one of them. I look forward to the day – now in sight — when we can be together again, in person, working to get not back to normal, but to building a new, better and more equitable future for all.