Message to the Spring 2020 Class from Dean Mummery

caucasian man with grey hair in black shirt and green tie smiling at camera

Dear Graduates,

Class of 2020—you are one of the most unique graduating classes in the history of the University of Alberta. One thing I have learned over my years is that everything is temporary, and COVID19 will be temporary too. Although it has profoundly changed the way you completed your degree, and the way you will receive your degree, it will be a rallying cry for your class for decades to come. Alumni weekend 2045, when you gather again to celebrate the 25th anniversary of your graduation will be filled with stories of the COVID pandemic, and how it changed everything for you way back in 2020…Bank on it.

Many of you have come through a very stressful period. Four years, or more, of dedicated study culminating in a move from traditional face-to-face instruction to an online environment over the space of a weekend. I personally heard from many of you the concerns about the change in the grading system, which although justified from an equity perspective, was most certainly a source of angst at a time when everything around you may have seemed to be conspiring against you. But you made it through! You are a graduate of the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, one of the best faculties of its type anywhere in the world.

You will have much time to look forward and, the older you get, much time to reflect on the past, but for now I urge you to enjoy this moment—your moment—as you celebrate the finish of your degree and the beginning of a long and exciting journey to whatever your final destination may be. As a final thought about living in this moment, I leave you with a quote from the 6th century BC Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu that has helped me along my journey.

 If you are depressed you are living in the past

If you are anxious you are living in the future

If you are at peace you are living in the present

Congratulations and best wishes to the Class of 2020. You are a class like no other.


Best wishes,

Kerry Mummery, PhD FASMF
Professor and Dean
Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation