Dear MSVU students, faculty, staff, alumni, supporters and friends,

There’s no question that the past year has been a difficult one – marked not just by a global health crisis, but also by crises of race-based violence and oppression.

It’s correspondingly been a year in which we’ve been reminded that advocacy, community and compassion are critical.

What lies ahead is a period of recovery and rebuilding for our community, our country and the world. As 2020 winds down, it would be imprudent to wipe the slate clean. We must be sure to take with us into the new year enough of the past that we don’t forget the many important lessons learned – enough that we can make thoughtful progress in the areas in which it is critically needed.

At MSVU, we will continue on that path of growth in 2021 guided by a new strategic plan, titled Strength Through Community, set to roll-out soon.

But before then, let’s embrace the natural punctuation point that is the end of the year – harness this opportunity for reflection, relaxation, peace and joy.

A few years ago, we started a new tradition at MSVU of gathering in front of the Seton Academic Centre with our friends and neighbours to light a holiday tree. It quickly became a cherished means of kicking-off this season of light.

Though we aren’t able to gather this year, we knew this was a tradition we couldn’t forego entirely. Perhaps the world has never been more in need of a little extra light.

We tasked a few members of the MSVU family with making sure our tree still shines brightly. As you’ll see in the video below, a bit of a predicament emerged for our mascot Captain Crow! I encourage you to watch and enjoy this moment of fun and warmth.

May these and other bright moments help light our way forward in 2021 and beyond.

With my sincerest thanks for the valuable roles you all play as members of our special university community,


Dr. Mary Bluechardt
President & Vice-Chancellor