This spring at Vanderbilt has been a unique experience for all of us. Whether this is our last time walking past the blooms around campus or the first taking in the majesty of Kirkland, none of us were taking any of that in just a year ago. The COVID-19 pandemic has modified the normal that many of us knew so well, and in turn has taught us to appreciate the little things.
Spring in the South is picture perfect. Flowers and trees of all colors (pink, white and yellow just to name a few) envelop Vanderbilt’s campus. It is easy to get sucked into the gorgeous fantasy of it all, and students can frequently be seen stopping to admire the beauty of the season. The trees especially create a unique portrait of buildings, which in the winter seemed just to stand as large, looming structures. Vibrance returns life to these structures, the sun lighting them up to reinstate their majesty.
After a long fall and winter of limited in-person activities, Vanderbilt students flocked to Alumni and Wilson Lawn to study, play lawn games and enjoy the beautiful weather. We saw the return of performing arts through the Wilson Summer Stage and Vanderbilt Performing Arts Community (VPAC) performance. Student dance groups, a cappella groups and choral ensembles took the stage on a warm spring evening to showcase their work, much of which had been done virtually. It was an exciting time for all and a signal of normalcy here at Vanderbilt. Whether it be in the classroom, on the sports fields or on the stage, Vanderbilt students contribute in their own way while supporting their peers and groups on campus that they are not involved in.
As the season winds down, many of us reflect on what this semester and year has been like for us. Many of us will return to these paths and trees and flowers in the fall, and some will go to new places whose paths veer far from here. Hopefully the beauty of Vanderbilt will never leave our 2021 graduates, and that the fall will see a return to the Vanderbilt we all know and love.