A message from President Collins

Keegan Godwin (TheLorian)

Gratitude and Blessings

During this special month of November, many of us will soon celebrate Thanksgiving. Some look forward to this traditional celebration, but others have less reason to gather. These reasons range from challenging family situations to not being able to return home to having different customs, traditions, or cultural upbringing.

Regardless of one’s inclination toward Thanksgiving, I think we can all agree that it affords us an extended opportunity for a well-deserved break. Even if we have commitments or work, our schedules are a bit more flexible and less demanding.

As we near the end of our first semester, I recognize that the return to campus after Thanksgiving break will be especially busy and hectic. Co-curricular demands will continue, final exams will be administered, group projects will be due, and holiday anxiety will manifest itself along with the lingering impact of the pandemic. To that end, this is a good time to prioritize your academic work and other responsibilities. The days ahead provide an opportunity to find balance – to do what needs to be done and to take time to care for ourselves – spiritually, personally, intellectually and personally.

For me, especially during this month, I find that invoking gratitude on a daily basis is what feeds my soul and affords me better life balance. I try to take stock of the many blessings in my life and express appreciation as often as possible. Though my many blessings have plenty of dysfunction and imperfection, I am not sure what I would do without them. I am grateful for family, friends, my faith, meaningful work and our Loras community.

As it relates to this special campus community, I wish to offer gratitude to each of you. I thank you for the ways you represent Loras and the many sacrifices you make in doing so. I so appreciate the inspiring efforts that lead to academic success, co-curricular excellence and an openness to learning or experiencing new things. I am grateful for the willingness you have demonstrated in honoring the campus’ protocols related to COVID-19 guidelines, especially as we enter the more traditional cold and flu season.

In the end, I am blessed to be part of a community that embraces our Catholic, liberal arts mission and four dispositions. We are a place that focuses less on self and more on the well-being of others. My prayer is that we all continue to find ways to promote “common good.” We are in this together and, as a Christian, I believe we will be judged less on how we protected our “personal freedoms” and more as to how we upheld community standards, human dignity, and served others as the Gospel calls us to do.

Happy Thanksgiving and a blessed holiday season to all of you. Be well in the days ahead and thanks for your goodness in all ways.

Go Duhawks!

James E. Collins ‘84


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