TO: The Gonzaga Community
FROM: Thayne M. McCulloh, Ph.D.
SUBJ: Happy Thanksgiving
DATE: November 21, 2011
Gonzaga Students, Faculty, Staff and Administrators:
As we prepare for the annual observance of giving thanks, I wanted to take just a moment to wish each of you a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving. Our national observation of this holiday was formally instituted by President Abraham Lincoln who in 1863—despite the horrors of a civil war that threatened to tear the country apart—declared the last Thursday of November to be a day of “thanksgiving and praise” to God “who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
We live in challenging times. Despite enormous advances brought forward by continued innovation and creativity, advances in technology, the sciences, healthcare and many other professions, we remain a nation and a world challenged to appropriately care for our children, our elderly, and many of those with significant disabilities. Around the globe and in our neighborhoods, injustice flourishes; fear and discrimination are far too frequently in evidence. The economic recession has left so many in our region without meaningful work and the means to support themselves or their families; our State legislature faces many difficult choices as diminished resources are deployed against growing needs.
Notwithstanding these, and many other, challenges to our social and individual well-being, I am and remain very thankful. I am thankful because our mission—to daily create and provide a mission-oriented environment wherein important and meaningful teaching, learning, and scholarship can occur—is ultimately about contributing to the solving of these, and many other future, challenges. I am privileged to see the evidence of our effectiveness every day, for Gonzaga students and alumni are making a positive difference in the world each and every day. It is a privilege for me to witness and be a part of the intellectual, social, and spiritual endeavor that characterizes our most important work.
This Thanksgiving holiday, I give thanks for you, and thanks for the gift that being a part of the hope-filled, apostolic endeavor this university represents. I pray that those among us who travel will be safe, and return without incident; may your time with family and friends before the busy end of our fall semester be restorative. May God’s peace and continued blessings be with us all. Happy Thanksgiving!
Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil.