I’m generally an optimistic person, but identifying the positive aspects of the past year was more difficult than I had hoped it would be. As has been the case for so many, 2020 was a year of inconceivable challenges. However, one positive for us has been the growth of community. We, the Allerton supporters, have stuck together. We linked arms, faced our convictions, and proved that we will not waiver in the face of adversity. It has been said that true growth only occurs with true hardships. So, perhaps 2020 was not only the year of challenges, but of growth.
Fortunately, in Illini nation, growth is part of our DNA. Our Midwestern values are rooted deep and they thrive on effort – where the soil is fertile, the weather is favorable, and perseverance pays off. We all know the saying ‘knee-high by the Fourth of July’ is no longer as relevant as it once was; advancements in agriculture have given us a new measuring stick for growth. The past year has changed our measuring stick, so what was once an orange is now an apple, and a comparison is fruitless.
As we consider the coming year, we will keep in mind that the taste of progress has changed. We will calculate success in effort, commitment, and camaraderie, rather than gains and losses. We won’t be counting our chickens, and we will be redistributing our eggs into new baskets. We look toward 2021 as the year of hard work.
We know this community isn’t afraid of hard work. I’m pulling on my work boots and calling for all hands on deck. Bring your work gloves and join us as we rebuild, reimagine, and rebound. Add your voice to our rallying cry – “We are ALL IN for Allerton!”
-Derek Peterson, Director
Read the full 2021 Retreat + Review here.