This Thanksgiving, I'm Thankful for Our Community

Monday, Nov. 21, 2016

This week, many of our students will travel across the city, state or country to celebrate Thanksgiving. Whether our fellow members of the UK family venture near or far this week, I want to wish each of you a happy, healthy, and safe holiday.

President Theodore Roosevelt provided compelling insight for this time of year and this period of reflection. He said: "Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds."

Each day when I come to this campus, I’m grateful to work with such talented, dedicated and passionate students, faculty and staff. This community embodies Roosevelt’s credo—I see our role as the University for Kentucky through everyday deeds across our campus.

I walk into the atrium of the renovated Gatton College of Business and Economics building, and I see students and faculty sitting on the social staircase, chatting about relevant issues of our day.

I pass through the central core of our campus and see our fantastic landscaping staff working tirelessly to keep our campus looking beautiful. As we head into winter, these same dedicated folks will be instrumental in keeping our campus safe during inclement weather conditions.

I overhear our student support staff chatting about our continuous commitment to helping student succeed. Our Provost emphasizes that we must address four crucial pillars—academic success, financial stability, belonging/engagement, and wellness—to ensure we’re supporting students in the best way we can.

I visit our housing and dining facilities and see the comforting smiles, the engaged conversation and the quality of service with which these employees approach their roles. They are invaluable in nurturing a welcoming, positive environment for our UK community.

I see our student center rising on the north side of our campus, and I envision the sense of community this building will foster. It will be a place to dine, to recreate, to study, to teach, to gather. Most importantly, it will be a place to foster belonging and engagement. It will be the physical space for these deeds to occur.

As a university community, much is expected of us. I hope we take this time, in the spirit of the season, to express our thanks for what we’ve been given. And at the same time, let us take that a step further, as President Roosevelt prescribes.

Let us continue to ask ourselves, each and every day, what can we do to help others feel welcome, to help others succeed? How can we truly provide support through our deeds?

Thank you for everything you do. Happy Thanksgiving.

Eric N. Monday