As we head into the second quarter of 2021, there is a great sense of hope. The world is making progress regarding the fight against Covid-19 and the pandemic restrictions are loosening. Businesses, restaurants and public spaces are opening back up. Our University Communities are making plans to return to in-person classes, organization meetings and athletics. And all of this is happening just in time as University Credit Union celebrates another significant milestone: 70 years as a member-owned not-for-profit financial cooperative.
Reaching this anniversary would have felt monumental even during an ordinary year, but the fact that we have come through one of the most challenging periods in our lifetimes makes it that much sweeter. We added more than 2,400 members to our credit union family last year, experienced record year-over-year loan growth, and expanded partnerships with more of the University Community - all while operating virtually. To mark the occasion, we have planned special offerings, in addition to our Best Rate Guarantee, and events throughout this year to thank our members for 70 incredible years.
Along with our 70th anniversary festivities, we are celebrating an expansion of our field of membership. UCU is proud to have been named the Official Credit Union of the Big West Conference and a sponsor of the 2021 Big West Basketball Championships. We are thrilled at the opportunity to serve the students, alumni, staff, faculty, and family of the universities that comprise the Big West. What’s more, within the Conference, we have formed a special new partnership with UC Irvine Athletics. It is a great honor and privilege to be an official partner of another UC school.
We look forward to highlighting our uniquely designed products and services for our newest eligible members, including ways to show school spirit like our university branded debit and credit cards. As current members, I encourage you to share the benefits of membership with your friends and family in these new partner schools so we can continue to enhance the ways we give all members a financial advantage.
UCU has grown from humble beginnings at just one UC to a robust, full-service financial institution serving the university community throughout the western United States. Let’s keep moving forward while looking ahead to the next 70 years and beyond. Thank you, as always, for your valued membership.