Dear Bruin Community:
March 10 marks a solemn milestone for UCLA. One year ago, in response to the burgeoning threat posed by COVID-19, we made the decision to suspend in-person classes and move to remote instruction. It was an early indication of how much the pandemic would transform our studies, our work, our community and our lives.
The past 12 months undoubtedly have challenged us. Along with the direct health impact of the virus — which has claimed the lives of 2.5 million people worldwide and half a million Americans — we’ve endured isolation and anxiety, a profound economic downturn and great uncertainty about the future. All of this has been compounded by racist violence and ethnic hostility, political turmoil and even armed insurrection. We are all, understandably, tired.
During this same year we also have seen the extraordinary courage of frontline medical workers, the compassion of people and organizations working to support the most vulnerable, the ingenuity of scientists who developed vaccines in record time, historic voter participation rates and reinvigorated movements for racial justice. We’ve persevered as a Bruin community as well. Students have adjusted to distance learning and developed ways to sustain meaningful emotional bonds over great distances, faculty have designed new approaches to their teaching and adapted to changes in how they conduct research, staff have kept UCLA moving forward in innumerable ways, and our health community has served our region around the clock in a time of dire need. This year has asked more of us than we ever could have expected, and we rose to the occasion in ways we could not have imagined.
As we reflect on this anniversary, let us remember who and what we have lost, give thanks for what we have learned, and embrace the hope that — if we continue to follow public health guidance and get vaccinated when able — recovery from the pandemic is on the horizon. We also encourage you to take a moment to appreciate your own fortitude and all the ways in which you’ve helped sustain your families and your communities in this time. If you are struggling with the burdens we are all under, know that you do not need to bear those burdens alone: Please make use of the resources we have to support students and staff and faculty.
None of us will soon forget the events of the past year. But in such trying times, Bruins have responded with resilience, ingenuity and compassion. We are deeply grateful, and hope these traits continue to sustain our community in the months ahead.
Gene D. Block
Emily A. Carter
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost