Unprecedented. Challenging. Uncertain.
I would bet good money that those three words ranked near the top of many vocabularies in 2020. They certainly did in mine. Last year was not at all what anyone expected. And while there were many hardships, I still found myself using one more phrase almost as often as the three words above:
Silver lining. … Or, perhaps in this case, I should say golden lining.
This phrase particularly stood out for me during the Thanksgiving season, as I reflected back on the months prior—and I even expressed this in a note to our Alumni Association Board of Directors, whom I am grateful to work beside (albeit virtually!) each day.
On a personal note, my husband and I faced the same scenario that many parents worldwide found themselves in last spring: adjusting to working from home … with a toddler in the mix. Challenging? Frequently. Uncertain? I think the word “toddler” speaks for itself. Golden lining? Extra time we would have never been granted with our son during these precious and fleeting moments of childhood—for which we’ll be forever grateful.
In the Alumni and Development Office, we joined higher education institutions across the nation in the scramble to transition longstanding traditions to a virtual realm. Unprecedented? Absolutely. Challenging? Insert audio of, “You’re on mute!” on repeat here … enough said. Golden lining? Access to technology that allows us to continue our good work together, even while apart—and which still enables impactful connections to occur among our Laker community.
As we all continue forward into this new year with refreshed hope, there is still plenty of uncertainty among our penciled-in plans. Golden lining? Knowing you’re part of a Laker family that is certain to re-write their agendas and make the time to support their alma mater, its current students, or their alumni family—no matter the circumstances.
So, “un-mute” yourself, if you haven’t already—and be a golden lining for another Laker! Become an Alumni Sharing Knowledge mentor, to connect with current students; share your Oswego story as a guest on our Oswego Alumni Podcast; support need-based scholarships through the Path Forward campaign; host a virtual webinar or presentation for alumni; join the Reunion Committee to help plan our annual tradition (whatever that may look like!); or become an Admissions volunteer, to help recruit the next generation of Oz grads.
And, while we’re still “distancing” for the time being, you can still be “social” with us by following our various social media channels. “Like/Follow” our Oswego Alumni communities for extra content!
Following a year when it was tough to stay positive, I hope you’re able to find joy, rest and peace in 2021. You, our Oswego alumni, are one of the reasons I find joy in my work from day to day. Perhaps you’ll find that some of your own golden linings have a hint of green, too?
Laura Pavlus Kelly ’09
Executive Director of the Oswego Alumni Association
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