The last 12 months have been atypical all over the world, and the Case Western Reserve University campus was no exception. But during this time, our students, faculty and staff remained steadfast in their mission to learn and teach, conduct research and contribute to our local community. 

Before we head into the new year, take a look back with as at 2021 and The Daily’s top stories that made headlines.

Below, our 20 most-read news and research stories from 2021* are listed in ascending order.

20. A letter from the past predicts the future

Daniel Shao, a Class of 2021 graduate, reflected on the disappointment he faced as a high school senior facing college rejections—and how Case Western Reserve ultimately propelled him toward his goals.

19. Alumni couple commits $7.5 million to Case Western Reserve University to advance multidisciplinary research in neurodegenerative disease

Alumni John (MED ‘86) and Catherine (CWR ‘77, NUR ‘81) Seibyl committed $7.5 million for the School of Medicine and Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing to collaborate on efforts to improve outcomes for patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

18. COVID-19: bioethical issues raised by the pandemic

Earlier this year, when COVID-19 vaccines first became more widely available, Mark Aulisio, the Susan E. Watson Professor and chair of the Department of Bioethics, weighed in on some of their bioethical concerns. 

17. Case Western Reserve University researchers demonstrate comparative risk of mRNA vaccinations vs. COVID-19 in teens

Researchers used electronic health record information to demonstrate there is a higher risk in teenagers for developing myocarditis/pericarditis (heart inflammation) after contracting COVID-19 than in those who received two doses of the vaccine.

16. Case Western Reserve University biotech startup Rodeo Therapeutics Corp. sold to Amgen Inc.

A drug-development startup developed by CWRU researchers was sold to publicly traded Amgen Inc. in a deal worth $55 million.

15. A “dream come to fruition”

Phase II of the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center at the Temple–Tifereth Israel was completed earlier this year, providing new spaces for student performances and collaborations.

14. Meet the faculty and staff members named COVID-19 Champion honorees

Case Western Reserve recognized faculty and staff members whose efforts to keep the campus community safe amid the pandemic were particularly worthy of celebration.

13. School of Medicine Class of 2021 matches to residency programs

With Match Day held in a hybrid manner, the School of Medicine’s 2021 graduates celebrated learning where the next steps in their careers would take them.

12. 5 things to know about … medical school

Thinking of applying to med school? We worked with Christian Essman, senior director of admissions and financial aid for the Office of Admissions in the School of Medicine, to find out what you need to know.

11. How do the COVID-19 vaccines work? Chemistry’s Blanton S. Tolbert explains

Blanton S. Tolbert, professor of chemistry at the College of Arts and Sciences, shared his expertise to explain how COVID-19 vaccines can keep us safe.

10. Karam Atli graduates from the School of Medicine at 23 years old

The School of Medicine’s graduating Class of 2021 included one of the school’s youngest-ever graduates who earned her diploma at age 23.

9. Welcoming our new students: The Class of 2025 by the numbers

In August, we welcomed 1,600 first-year and 70 transfer students to campus to begin their educational journeys at Case Western Reserve.

8. Fribley Dining Commons now open following complete transformation

One of our campus eateries got a new makeover and we shared a preview of the renovated space.

7. Vaccine hesitancy: What it is and what it is not

Janet McGrath, professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at the College of Arts and Sciences, discussed a hot topic: those hesitant about getting COVID-19 vaccinations and how they may be able to overcome their concerns.

6. U.S. News & World Report releases graduate and professional program rankings

In March, U.S. News & World Report released this year’s rankings for graduate and professional programs, in which several of our programs were highly rated.

5. CWRU remains at 42nd in U.S. News & World Report rankings

This fall, Case Western Reserve held its position at 42nd in the U.S. News & World Report rankings, with several programs seeing increased ratings.

4. First Destination Survey reports bright futures for the Class of 2020

The Class of 2020 graduated at a tumultuous time, but they still found success, as revealed by the First Destination Survey.

3. Meet eight of CWRU’s outstanding Class of 2021 graduates

While commencement didn’t have the usual pomp and circumstance we’re accustomed to in 2021, we still had plenty to celebrate—including eight of our outstanding graduates.

2. New study: Nursing home residents, health care workers lose more than 80% of their COVID-19 immunity six months after Pfizer vaccine

As time passed since vaccines first became available, questions remained about how long they would remain effective. One study by our researchers examined that very issue.

1. Study finds more active-duty police officers died of COVID-19 in 2020 than all other causes combined

Another CWRU study in 2021 looked at how COVID-19 was affecting law enforcement in particular.

*This list does not include obituaries of the faculty, staff and students who passed away during 2021.