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Making a difference for students

President V. Lane RawlinsDec. 14, 2012

Dear faculty and staff,

This is the season for giving, gratitude, and spending time with close friends and family. I hope each of you has a great holiday season filled with joy and thanks, and that you will have a chance to relax and feel satisfaction about your work this past year.

One of the things I am grateful for is the opportunity to work with you. I marvel at your commitment and the wonderful impact it has on the lives of our students and colleagues. One of the best things about being president is hearing people share their successes and their personal stories, many relating to the wonderful experiences they have had at UNT. In these stories, they mention names — often a faculty member or a class that changed their life, or a financial aid counselor who helped them find a way to stay in college, or someone who reached out to them at just the right time. I often ask whether they have expressed gratitude to the person in question and too often the answer is "No." But you should know that people do remember and are grateful for what you do.

Last month, we held an alumni event in Bangkok, Thailand, where more than 100 of our alumni were present. There were graduates from each of our colleges so it was a great reflection of UNT's many different impacts. I had conversations with many of the alums and they consistently told me stories about the people who work here and how kind and helpful they were to them when they were students. These alumni are now giving back, making donations, recruiting students and enriching our culture.

Just yesterday, a student who is one of the award winners in the president's annual holiday card design contest came to my office to receive her award. Through her contest entry and our conversation, I learned why she loves UNT and why it feels like home to her. She was exposed to UNT as a child when her father studied English poetry here and she remembers playing in the One O’Clock lounge. Her father, who became an English professor in Korea, recently returned to UNT as an exchange scholar and she followed him to study communication design.

She wrote in her contest entry: "When I came here this summer, I was amazed to see the same place again! … My initial plan was to study at UNT for only one year, and after one year I was thinking about going back to Korea to continue my studies in English linguistics. But UNT changed my whole life plan."

So during this holiday season and as this year draws to a close, I want to thank you for your dedication to higher education and to making a real difference in the lives of students. I will do all that I can to support you in the coming year, and I hope that you know how much you really are affecting the lives of others. Thank you.

Sincerely,

V. Lane Rawlins

UNT President

 

Posted on: Fri 14 December 2012

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