Be Part of Human Ecology History!
Archive your 2020 story

Making history – what’s your story?

Like so many around the world, Human Ecology alumni are living in the midst of an historic moment. Future Human Ecology students and members of the College community will want to understand what happened during 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic, national unrest, numerous national disasters and how people experienced day-to-day life during this unprecedented time.

An impact on the future – what was 2020 like for you?

We want to capture the direct impact the events of 2020 had on Human Ecology alumni and record through your stories, how you endured, where you found inspiration, what was difficult and how your lives were shaped by the pandemic and world events.  Historians and others in the future will want to know what 2020 looked like, how it felt, how everyone was impacted. Your story will add to the overall picture of this time in history.

Make it personal – a letter that will make a difference.

You are invited to share your story as a letter to a future Human Ecology student.  The letter will include your personal reflections with a focus on self-expression and a willingness to share. What would you like a student, perhaps a hundred years from now, to know about 2020? Your letter can prepare others to face a crisis in their time. With your letter, you may also include handwritten documents or photos to help tell your story and capture your experience during this time. Thank you in advance for participating in this historic project.


When you are ready to submit your personal 2020 story, please fill out this submission form

Documenting your experience is completely personal and each person’s approach will be just as unique. You may want to record your daily routine, your feelings, and the emotions of each day, or you may want to record big picture observations about the changes in the world around you. A few questions to consider as you are writing your 2020 reflections are:

  • How have you been juggling childcare, children’s home-schoolwork, and your own work?
  • What other national and world events have affected you in 2020?
  • Maybe you are one of the heroic essential employees. What is your daily life like?
  • Have extended family members living with you?
  • What are some of the things you’re anxious or frustrated about?
  • What are the good things, the positives in your day? What are you thankful for? How are you finding inspiration and encouragement?
  • What are you noticing in the world around you? Although it may look mundane to you right now, these are the things that should be recorded for posterity.

What form of documentation should I use and can I use more than one?

We will accept any form that works best for you - you can type directly into the submission form or upload hand or typewritten documents, images, etc. 

How often should I submit?

There is no set expectation. You can do as little or as much as you are able, submitting the form multiple times if you wish.

What will this be used for?

Your submission will be preserved and maintained in the College of Human Ecology Archives. It will be available for researchers. You may designate in your submission form if there are any restrictions to your submission.

Can my submission be anonymous?

Our staff will need your contact information to document in our records, but yes you can request that your materials remain anonymous (or first name only) to researchers.

Can I restrict access to my submission?

When you submit your materials, you may choose to allow access immediately or you may restrict it for five (5) years from the date of submission.

What should I leave out?

It is likely that your documentation will include personal information about yourself, including health and other sensitive information. If you are recording or writing about other people in your household, make sure they are aware. Please do not include personal health details that can be used to identify others. See the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) for more details on what information is legally protected.


Under current copyright law, when you create a work that qualifies for copyright and put it into a permanent form (which includes writing it down on paper, painting it, drawing it, typing it up on a computer and saving it, etc.), you gain copyright on it, and own the rights to it.

When should I submit? Are there any deadlines?

Currently, this is an open-ended project. Feel free to document as long as you are able and willing.

How do I submit?

When you are ready to submit your letter and any complementary materials, please fill out this submission form. This will help us create your submission record and ensure we follow your privacy requests such as access restrictions and anonymity. You must complete the submission form in order for your materials to be accepted.

You may also send documents through the mail, please use the following address:

College of Human Ecology
Alumni Affairs & Development
1302 MVR Hall
Ithaca, New York 14853

Attn: Archive Your Story Submission

Questions about the project and submissions can be sent to Human Ecology Alumni Affairs & Development, or 607-255-2093.