It's almost time to put 2020 behind us and welcome in the new year. University Print & Mail Services has put together a calendar filled with something to feel good about—pictures of some of the U's biggest animal fans.
The 2021 Animals of the U calendar is available now for purchase online or at the Campus Store, was created for a greater purpose than to just highlight university-specific dates like paydays, holidays and academic dates. With COVID-19 forcing many to stay home this past year, Print & Mail wanted to help the U community feel united in a time of separation and social distancing. They created a contest asking students, staff, faculty, alumni, and fans to submit pictures of their animals for their chance to be featured in the annual calendar. The response was more than expected.
Word of the contest reached the outskirts of Utah and beyond to states including Montana and California. Contest winner Amanda Gerke from Salem, Utah, heard about the contest from her brother-in-law in Orem. She and other U fans showed their school pride by submitting pictures of their animals. There were so many submissions that not all could feature a month in the calendar. To make sure those contestants who weren't selected as finalists still felt part of the U community, Print & Mail created a collage page highlighting as many photo entries as could fit. Gerke said she "can't wait to see [Melody's] photo along with other Ute fan pet photos."
For some, the contest was a needed distraction from the stress of the pandemic. Gerke is grateful the contest allowed her the opportunity to create memories with her dog Melody and said "being able to spend the time with her and [my family] has been great during the pandemic." U employee and contest winner Joel Clayton said the anticipation of seeing his dog Kenzie featured in the calendar "has definitely been something to look forward to in all this mess."
News about the animal-themed calendar has also created a buzz in some departments. It's no surprise that animals invoke a positive emotional response for many, such as the calming effect felt around an emotional support animal. Print & Mail hopes that the calendar will have a similar impact on those who see the pictures. Jennifer Baxter, a CNA at Utah Center for Reproductive Medicine, uses the annual calendar daily when helping her patients plan infertility treatments. When told this year's calendar would feature animals, she said, "We think it's a great idea!" Baxter and her co-workers believe seeing the animals' pictures could help relieve some of their patients' stress and boost their happiness.
How to order
Calendars are available now either online or at the Campus Store! They can be purchased individually or in bulk for your department. Print & Mail offers free delivery to on-campus addresses, and can also ship the calendar to your home office for a fee.