As I hurtle toward the end of another year, the previous 11-plus months a mere speck in my memory, the onset of the holidays gave me pause.
It’s been a big year at Willamette. We’ve welcomed what is likely the biggest freshman class in our history as well as a new president. Over 40% of our faculty joined us within the past five years, their energy and commitment melding with that of faculty who have shaped Willamette for the past 30. Thousands of alumni, parents and friends have generously shared of their philanthropic support during a time when the economy is shaky and things are a bit uncertain. All of this smacks of dedication -- a collective embrace of the vision and values that are Willamette University.
For this I give thanks. As a graduate (twice!), I appreciate those throughout our nearly-170 year history who took the time to think outside of the box, take some risks and invest when maybe others weren’t investing. Those who committed to teaching what needed to be taught: how to think, what it means to be part of a community – local or global. Essentially, how to be the difference.
So as we come screeching up to 2012, I ask you to take a breath for just a second and join me in saying "thank you" to those who have come before us -- whether 100 years ago or yesterday -- and shared their support of Willamette. It is because of this generosity and commitment that we may continue to shape the world through the students who grace our campus. Thank you for making the difference and being part of our future.
Not unto ourselves alone are we born.
Denise Callahan '95, MBA'00
Interim Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations