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Anticipating that many of you will be traveling over the Thanksgiving break, I’m going to send out my Thanksgiving message a little early this year. I extend to all of you best wishes for our uniquely American holiday of Thanksgiving, celebrated on our domestic campuses this coming Thursday the 28th. This year, Thanksgiving is contemporaneous with the Jewish Festival of Lights, Hannukah, which begins in the evening of 27th November and goes to the evening of 5 December. I extend to all our Jewish faculty, staff and students a hearty Chad Chanukah Sameach!!*
Among the many things I’m grateful for this year, two stand out: The passion our students, faculty and staff have shown in engaging in discussions about the future of the University. Your deep caring for CSPP and this institution is gratefully acknowledged. I am also grateful to the extraordinary generosity of all of you who contributed to relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan. Our San Francisco students organized a successful fundraiser earlier this week, and other campuses have engaged in similar efforts. A profound thank you.
Hannukah celebrates a miracle, so in closing I’ll quote an old proverb that Richard Holmes uses as a preface to his fascinating new book about the early history of ballooning, Falling Upwards:
“The miracle is not to fly in the air or walk on the water but to walk on the earth”
A warm Thanksgiving and a joyous Hannukah to you all.
*I was reminded that we recently celebrated another festival of lights, Diwali, celebrated by our Hindi colleagues and students earlier this month. I apologize for not acknowledging that important holiday - I’ll do better next year!