2020 Has Been a Year of Challenges and Creativity for the RSU Alumni Association
2020 has been an unusual year for all of us, including the RSU Alumni Association. This year's summer graduates experienced a very special graduation week. For the first time in the RSU history, graduation ceremony took place outdoors – it was held in the RSU yard and in the Inspiration Park. Members of the Alumni Association, in turn, experienced the first alumni event with remote participation. As in the previous year, the number of members of the Alumni Association has increased significantly this year, and now it gathers more than 800 people.
For years, the favourite tradition of the alumni association has been to enjoy dinner together and spend leisurely evenings full of exciting conversations. Therefore, at a time when the epidemiological situation in Latvia was more stable, a new networking event was organised for the first time – Intelligence club New gen. Graduates of several generations came together to spend a carefree and laugh-filled evening in a fun atmosphere together with the improvisational theatre Art-I-Šok. Shortly afterwards, the fifth Intelligence club dinner took place, and the special guest of this event was Mr Juris Žagars.
2020 has passed in close cooperation with our oldest supporters and friends – the Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation, who celebrated their 10th anniversary this year. Thanks to the support of the Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation, RSU lecturers were able to develop new and innovative study courses and improve the existing ones within four months. Currently, the second term of grant holders is carrying out the modernisation of study courses, the results of which we will see at the beginning of 2021. Also, thanks to the foundation, RSU has the opportunity to create a unique COVID-19 patient biobank for research purposes. The aim of the study was to determine the immune response to SARS-2 infection and its effect on the severity of COVID-19.
This year, the association continued cooperation with JSC Olainfarm, for the tenth time awarding A/S Olainfarm excellence scholarships to students of the Faculty of Pharmacy. Throughout the year, RSU Alumni Association together with colleagues from the RTU Alumni Association and the LU Alumni Club, participated in public discussions on changing the governance model of higher education institutions, defending the autonomy thereof.
In spring, when the world experienced the first wave of COVID-19, the RSU Alumni Association held a team quiz Intellectus for the first time, and graduates were able to participate in the quiz from their homes. Intellectus was also attended by expatriate members of the association and our graduate, Minister of Health Ilze Viņķele. “Despite the virus and the epidemiological precautionary measures in place, we do not want to deny our graduates the popular tradition to meet. This year has been challenging, but it has taught us to be creative and look for solutions and event formats that I would have never imagined,” comments Artūrs Kaļva, Executive Director of the RSU Alumni Association.
We are truly proud that RSU has set an example for the people of Latvia, being the first to implement strict epidemiological precautionary measures and to ensure remote study process in all study programmes. The RSU Alumni Association is also looking for ways to gather its members and spend exciting evenings and long conversations online. To help us create the online meetings and events, please share your opinion by filling out the questionnaire.