Entrance Torch 2

Thankful for You

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

As we approach the final exam period, I want to first wish every student success in their academic pursuits. You have worked diligently this semester. You’ve spent countless hours studying and learning about a variety of subjects, engaging in class discussions that challenged perspectives and cemented life-long friendships, and working with others across disciplines to complete projects that impact more than your GPA. All this you’ve accomplished while overcoming the additional challenges presented by a global pandemic.

Just as we’ve experienced a semester that has looked different than the past, our Thanksgiving celebrations will also differ from the norm. Although we may not gather with large groups of family and friends, we still have the opportunity to reflect on the many blessings that surround us daily. This year especially, it is important to focus on how richly God has blessed our lives and the many reasons we have to be grateful.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to express how grateful I am for the opportunity to serve as Valpo’s interim president and for the resilience and determination of our entire campus.

To our valued students, thank you for trusting that our University would give you a quality, in-person education and for your patience as we adapted to new circumstances throughout the semester.

To our dedicated faculty members, thank you for adjusting to a new class schedule and delivery model and serving students outside of your normal office hours and outside of the classroom. You continue to be influential in the lives of our students and integral to the success of our University.

And to our committed staff members, thank you for completing roles and responsibilities that are often behind the scenes and for serving the University graciously and abundantly.

Like Emerson, I am thankful for you, my old and new acquaintances, for welcoming me as part of the campus community this year. It has been a great joy to reconnect with my alma mater and engage with a new generation of students, faculty, and staff.

I am truly thankful to count each of you among the many blessings God has bestowed upon Valparaiso University. I want to thank you for all that you do, each and every day, to make this University a distinctive and inviting place where together we pursue truth, serve generously, and cultivate hope.

During the semester break, I hope you can all find time to rest and recharge. I hope this time fills your heart with grateful moments, love of family and friends, and prayers of thanksgiving for all of God’s blessings, today and each day to come.


Colette Irwin-Knott ’81

Interim President

Valparaiso University