December 2, 2010
“Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.”
- Robert Caspar Lintner
After a busy and rewarding fall in the University of Rochester community, Thanksgiving was a time to fully appreciate the blessings that have been bestowed upon us and all the good fortune that has touched our lives. It was a time to enjoy family and friends and to think of all the people who have made a difference in our lives and to consider the difference we can make in the lives of others.
During the holiday I reflected on my past five years in Rochester. I am privileged to have come to know many of you well through our important work together. I have learned best and been most deeply touched by individual stories you have shared that express the distinctive qualities of the University of Rochester and its impact on people’s lives. I remembered many of those stories during Thanksgiving. We are a distinctive community whether on campus or around the globe.
I believe members of our community have a constancy of purpose that they apply to any endeavor they seek to pursue. They share the experience of having thoroughly mastered skills that have enabled them to succeed and motivate others to follow their example. In the stories of alumni and friends, I consistently hear how rigor, hard work, and uncompromising standards yield extraordinary results. Our ties to the University give us access to an ever-evolving culture of innovation we apply in many different settings to find answers to challenging problems. We persevere until we have found and perfected comprehensive solutions to often complex problems.
Alumni frequently speak of decisive moments they had at the University when a professor encouraged them to stretch their limits. It might have happened when exploring a new and unfamiliar subject, conducting research, or performing. These experiences allowed them to unlock their potential and find resources in themselves they did not know they possessed. They overcame challenges, reached a new level of achievement, and received positive feedback for their efforts. These moments were life-changing events. The memory remains with them, along with a deep respect for the University.
Another characteristic of those who are a part of the University of Rochester community is their dedication to serving others. Our community is deeply compassionate and caring. We strive with constancy of purpose for our families and for the places where we live. We increasingly are serving and supporting this great University so that it may better serve all who benefit from what we offer and those who depend upon us. We are looking ahead and considering our role in the lives of generations ahead of us.
We have reached a crucial moment in our history. The world needs the University of Rochester and all that it does more than ever before. The institution is positioned to move forward in exciting new directions. Moving to the next level requires all of us to be involved, working together in service to humanity. In this season, as we consider all we have to be thankful for and all we have received, let us consider what we can give others and our individual goals for the months and years ahead. I invite you to join me in pursuing your interests and passions through our broad University community in ways that will strengthen it and expand its service. This is our moment to make a true difference in the world.
James D. Thompson
Senior Vice President
Chief Advancement Officer