2021 Theme

Commitment to Excellence

Understatement: this past year has been a difficult one for most. We have faced a combination of challenges that many of us never thought we would see in our lifetime – from fires and earthquakes to civil unrest, financial upheaval, political turmoil, the pandemic, and more.*

And yet, I have seen some really amazing things during that time. Organizations have worked hard to ensure that we, as genealogists, continued to have quality education available. Instructors have pushed through personal challenges, from deaths in the family to long-hauler Covid-19 symptoms, to ensure students can continue to benefit from their expertise. Opportunities to attend conferences and institutes have become available to those normally unable to attend due to the cost of travel or other responsibilities.

The transition to virtual isn’t an easy or smooth road for any organization. There are contractual obligations to navigate, numerous changes and decisions to make, and in our case, a few technical glitches and missed deadlines to sigh about. Thankfully, our amazing faculty graciously granted us the flexibility needed to manage the process.

Beyond that, they went the extra mile to make 2021 something special. Coordinators worked to revamp courses to better fit the technology, utilized the opportunity to bring in experts previously not available, and modified workshops and added instructors to ensure adequate virtual assistance. Coordinators and instructors have tackled the virtual change with eyes toward opportunity, not challenge, and responded with creativity to both technology changes and expansion requests.

This consistent demonstration of their commitment to excellence—to providing the best possible education to each and every one of their students—is what makes SLIG a success and will likely make SLIG 2021 more memorable than most. To each of them, “Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”

And so, in spite of challenging times all around us, we come to SLIG to improve our skills, gain inspiration, and become more exceptional at what we do. In so doing, we benefit from the example of the experts who teach and mentor us, and their daily commitment to excellence.

I hope we may be inspired to increase our commitment to excellence in our studies, research, community service, and professional work in a way that will strengthen us in spite of challenges that may lie ahead.

*Disclaimer: these are the personal thoughts of an oft-behind and reflective director. Please do not take offense if I’ve missed an important event that affected your life, or could have used better wording to describe the very sad events of the year.