Reflecting on 2020 with President Bob Iuliano and guest interviewer Joe Lynch ’85

In Episode 18, President Bob Iuliano is joined by Joe Lynch ’85, executive director of alumni relations at the College, who takes on the role of the interviewer and accompanies Iuliano on a 2020 year in review. Iuliano discusses some of the most pivotal moments of 2020, including the spread of COVID-19, the killing of George Floyd, a polarizing election year, and how these moments affected the world and the College. Pivoting from reflection to foresight, Iuliano shares his goals for the world and the College in 2021.

Explore episodes from the Poplore Podcast Project, which Iuliano lauds in his concluding “Slice of Life.”

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Show notes

composite of Penn Hall in winter (left) and summer (right)

In Episode 18, the tables are turned on podcast host and Gettysburg College President, Bob Iuliano. Iuliano is joined by Joe Lynch ’85, executive director of alumni relations at the College, who takes on the role of the interviewer and accompanies Iuliano on a 2020 year in review.

The episode begins with Iuliano sharing his takeaways from the year, which are rooted in some of the most pivotal moments of 2020, including: the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic and what the world and College have learned from it; the rise in the Black Lives Matter movement and the work that remains in becoming a more just and equitable society; and the value of civil discourse amid a polarizing election season, among others.

As the conversation continues, Iuliano dives more deeply into the highs and lows of 2020 and the important learning opportunities that the year has brought to the forefront. He speaks to what drove his decisions for the campus surrounding COVID-19 and lauds the goodwill and generosity of the Gettysburg Network. From the students and faculty who have supported one another during this challenging year, to our alumni who have been working steadfast on frontlines, to others who have donated gifts to further the mission of the College, Iuliano expresses a heartfelt “thank you” to all.

Referencing his newly launched strategic plan—Living Our Promise—as a jumping-off point, Iuliano says more about the urgency of work before us around racism and polarization. Through ongoing conversations, programming, and thoughtful action and implementation across campus and in the community, Iuliano expresses his commitment to preparing our students to be effective advocates for change.

Later on in the episode, Lynch entreats Iuliano to expound upon the possibilities that lie ahead. Iuliano discusses his hopes and aspirations for 2021, which include: a vaccine that brings forth a return to normalcy worldwide, a campus that is reunited and vibrant once again, and the integration of his strategic plan to deepen the value of a Gettysburg College experience.

The episode concludes with an anecdotal “Slice of Life” told from the president’s perspective. Iuliano uses this moment to call attention to an example of how our students and faculty take a creative and innovative approach to learning. In English Prof. Chris Fee’s English 318 class, students explore myth, legend, and folklore, and at the end of each semester record an original podcast on a lore-related topic. Iuliano shares an excerpt from Alejandro Kaempfer’s ’22 episode about how social media and electronic communication have transformed storytelling in the 21st century. Explore episodes from the Poplore Podcast Project.

Guests featured in this episode

  • Joe Lynch ’85, executive director of alumni relations at Gettysburg College. In addition to his administrative role, Joe has been a facilitator of many great conversations with members of the Gettysburg College community, in a past Facebook Live series coined “Learn at Lunch.”

Transcript