By Tower Editors

The 2019-2020 academic year will forever be remembered for the coronavirus pandemic – but at CUA, a lot happened before the disrupted spring semester. This review rounds up The Tower’s biggest stories of the year.

It was a year of…

… big donations, as the Conways donated $40 million to the nursing school, and in September the Light The Way campaign went public, announcing that almost $260 million had already been raised by donors. Magner Hall was demolished to make way for the new dining commons.

  … championships, from the Washington Nationals to the men’s soccer team to the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams

… good causes: menstrual equity, Campus Ministry combatting food insecurity on campus, and lots of mental health awareness – the Counseling Center’s suicide prevention lab, the “Nothing Scary About Mental Health” and “Healthy Masculinity” events, counseling center follow-up and editorial

… a rebalance of power: the Basilica’s Monsignor Walter Rossi stepped down from the university Board of Trustees due to investigations for unspecified allegations, the Pryz workers protested for a better contract, a Mercer consulting firm report showed that faculty are underpaid compared to other universities, and Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of sexual assault.

… and tragedy: the Australian wildfires, the shooting outside of the Bennett Career Institute, and, of course, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Tower first published an article about coronavirus on February 6th, when the camous wsa just starting to buzz with talk of the virus, but concerns about consequences were low. Over the next three months, we published updates as the number of cases increased internationally; articles on the move to online classes, the pass/fail option, and the postponement of commencement; and coverage of the first-of-their-kind, all-online SGA executive campaign trail and University Research Day.

We covered new music from Lana Del Rey, Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, Lennon Stella, Halsey, The Lumineers, Dua Lipa, The Strokes, Fiona Apple, and even Mac Miller. This year was big for films as well and the Oscars were more eventful than anticipated. Knives Out, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Us, and Midsommar were overlooked for the Best Picture nomination, angering fans and film buffs all over the country. Outside of the Oscars drama, films and TV continued to generate buzz. Foreign films like Parasite and  A Portrait of a Lady on Fire moved and changed audiences. You. continued to spook and somehow charm young audiences at the same time, and Tiger King captivated the entire country when quarantine first began.

The Democratic field narrowed from almost thirty candidates to a race between Joe Biden and Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, before the former vice president became the presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee. Donald Trump became the third president of the United States to be impeached, although acquitted by the Senate. The United Kingdom finally left the European Union. 

Thanks for a great year, UCA. See you after quarantine.

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