Portrait of President Dr. Christine Sobek
Christine J. Sobek, Ed.D., President of Waubonsee Community College

The end of the year is often a time of reflection for many. Last December I wrote about Waubonsee’s Peace Pole as a marker of peace, inclusiveness, and connections. Peace Poles are found around the world and all bear the inscription “May Peace Prevail On Earth.” As we wished each other happy holiday and new year greetings last December, none of us could have predicted the global pandemic that would soon sweep the world.

The year 2020 has been unlike any other year that most of us living today have ever experienced. And while few might describe it as peaceful, there have been moments of peace - busy streets grew quiet, we opted for outdoor activities and enjoyed the peace of nature, and we united in showing appreciation for those on the frontline of fighting the pandemic.

As we reflect on 2020, I think about the words of the T.S. Eliot poem Little Gidding that I quoted in an article in December 2017:

"For last year’s words belong to last year’s language

And next year’s words await another voice...

What we call the beginning is often the end

And to make an end is to make a beginning."

Like many of you, I am looking forward to 2021 with hope of vaccines and the taming of this global pandemic. And as T.S. Eliot expressed, I know that this end, so ardently hoped for, will also be a beginning. Much has changed or ended during this health crisis and much has or will soon begin – new businesses, new industries, and new educational journeys to meet the needs of new ways of working, connecting, and being in the world.

For more than 54 years, Waubonsee has been a community of learners. And Waubonsee remains a community of learners ready to create and shape our new beginnings. So here’s to endings, and here’s to beginnings. May the holiday season bring you peace, joy, good health and hope for a wonderful beginning!