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Attitude of gratitude

The upcoming national holiday is all about an attitude of gratitude. At its core, the uniquely American day of Thanksgiving is quite profound. Except for love, and possibly forgiveness, few concepts are more powerful or more life-altering than giving thanks from the heart.

As I near the three-and-a-half-year mark of my presidency, I ask your indulgence for a bit of personal privilege in this week’s “Reflecting Along the Journey” column. I want to offer thanks for the honor and privilege to serve as the 15th president of Davis & Elkins College. The journey that Lisa and I have shared with our many new friends and acquaintances who are a part of the extended D&E family, in Elkins and beyond, has been a true blessing. Returning to the mountains of our beloved home state has been a welcome homecoming.

My attitude of gratitude extends to several very special groups of people I have come to know and value highly. First, the College’s Board of Trustees is a group of volunteers, alumni and friends, who give generously of their time, counsel and financial resources resulting from their love of this College. I am also grateful for the D&E National Alumni Council who work tirelessly on behalf of their alma mater. Second, the College faculty are not only experts in their respective fields; they are also dedicated and caring teachers who invest themselves personally in the lives of our students. Third, the College staff are the unsung heroes. The institution could not function without the conscientious and professional work of staff that place the care and wellbeing of our students at the forefront. Fourth, the alumni and many friends of the College who continue without fail to recruit new students, financially support with their gifts, and never lose their pride in being a part of Senator Nation.

My final and most profound thanks goes to the students of Davis & Elkins College. Day in and day out, they inspire me with their desire to learn and their drive to succeed. In our students, I see a bright future that gives me pride and brings me hope.

In 1904, a visionary group founded a Presbyterian institution that would emphasize the liberal arts and be dedicated to providing a transformative educational experience to all who would journey upon its hallowed grounds. Now, 115 years later, I am grateful for their vision as I have the privilege of seeing its practical effects daily on the lives of young men and young women.

Next Thursday, we will pause as a nation to give thanks. Among our myriad blessings, I will offer thanks for a small college in the Appalachian Highlands of Randolph County. This College has blessed the lives of generations of students, continues to impact the students of today, and will continue to offer a transformative educational experience with distinction and excellence to generations of students to come.

May our attitude of gratitude permeate our lives on Thanksgiving Day, and every day that we are blessed with life and breath.

The journey continues…