Commencement a time to reflect, give thanks

Commencement a time to reflect, give thanks

Before people leave for the holidays, I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a blessed Christmas and New Year!

Today we celebrate our winter commencement. I offer my sincere congratulations to our students who will receive their degrees today. You have "run the good race." Your intelligence and dedication make us very proud and we know that you will do great things. Our blessings go with you!

Commencement is also a celebration of faculty and staff. It takes superb work on everyone's part to get us to this day. I often hear from students and alumni of their deep appreciation for their St. Thomas education.

I am aware it requires a high-functioning team of faculty and staff over a long period of time to develop "morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely, and work skillfully to advance the common good," as our mission states. And so this is a good time to say "thank you."

It's also a good time to tell each of you how much you are valued as contributing members of this community. We are a diverse place, with different opinions, different interests and different gifts. But this is what makes a university – this university – a great place to be. Thank you for bringing your talents to us. We treasure them and will do our best to nurture them.

May you, your family and friends have a blessed holiday season!