This time of year, it’s hard not to get caught up in the stress that comes with the end of the semester and the start of the holiday season. For some students, the countdown to graduation is entering its final days. To all students—no matter where you are in your academic journey—I’ll remind you to take the time to consider how you got here today. The hard work you put in each and every day, the sacrifices that you—and perhaps your family—have made, and the unending guidance provided by faculty and friends have made this year possible.
I like to remind our 11-year-old son that amid all of the excitement of the holidays this is also the time of year to think about others. And that is something I’m proud to say our students, faculty, and staff do extraordinarily well. Many from all across the State System have chosen to lend a hand in their local communities during this holiday season. As examples, Bloomsburg, Cheyney, and Mansfield held clothing and food drives; California students hosted a holiday event for the community; East Stroudsburg, IUP, and Slippery Rock collected money, toys, and stuffed animals for families in their communities; and Edinboro students participated in the Holiday Mail for Heroes program through the local chapter of the American Red Cross. Add those to the efforts at Clarion, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Millersville, Shippensburg and West Chester, and the list goes on and on.
While education will always be our top priority, serving others should never be far behind. Those experiences help shape our students into the global citizens they will need to be after they graduate. On behalf of the Board of Governors and everyone at the Office of the Chancellor, I extend our best wishes for a happy holiday season and a great 2017.