Reflections and Gratitude on Thanksgiving

As many of us prepare to take a few days off to spend time with family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday break, I wanted to offer a few words of reflection and encouragement to our campus community.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to connect with our loved ones and to give thanks for all we’ve been given. For me, that means deep gratitude for the remarkable community of students here at Saint Mary’s, whom I feel privileged to serve. I am not alone in that endeavor, of course, as we have an incredible group of faculty, staff members, Brothers, alumni, Trustees, and others who collectively strive to educate and support our Gael students.

Our campus community demonstrates each day its kindness, compassion, and commitment to each other’s success and well-being. This truly inspires me and serves as constant motivation to work towards being the best President I can be.

It’s also important for all of us to acknowledge that, for many in the Native American community, Nov. 24 is observed as a National Day of Mourning and an opportunity to reflect on their heritage. Since 1970, participants in the National Day of Mourning have honored Native ancestors and the struggles they’ve endured. Developing a deeper understanding about the origins of Thanksgiving is another integral part of the mission of the National Day of Mourning, and I believe it’s important to recognize with understanding and care this largely forgotten part of our nation’s history.

For those students remaining on campus over the break, Student Life has provided a detailed summary of end-of-semester housing and dining hours. To all of our students, I offer encouragement for your studies in the remainder of the semester, and a reminder to take care of yourselves and one another.

Our campus community’s hard work, leadership, vision, caring, responsiveness, and dedication to our students collectively make Saint Mary’s what it is. Thank you all. Best wishes to everyone for a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday break.


Richard Plumb, Ph.D.