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Reflection and Gratitude

As we come to the end of another academic year, I want to convey my gratitude for your work and commitment to the university’s mission and vision. Reflection on the completed academic year and gratitude for your work are common in May, with commencements happening throughout our community. Yet even though such sentiments are common, they are no less deeply felt and broadly experienced across our campus.

As I reflect on the closing academic year, I see record enrollment, record research achievements, and new levels of engagement with our wide-ranging communities. This week we will confer approximately 3,900 undergraduate degrees and 1,300 graduate and professional degrees. Happy graduates and proud families will swarm to Thompson-Boling Arena, all of them guided to that culminating moment by your commitment to learning, dedication to scholarship and creative work, and engagement with the vision of making life and lives better. You have made a difference to so many this year, and we are grateful for your hard work.

As you wind down this academic year and before you move on to your activity for the summer months, I invite you to remember the moments over the past year where you joined with students and colleagues to make something new—an insight, a discovery, a connection, a fresh awareness—and draw confirmation of the importance of our work from that reflection. May it also be a source of renewal as you look to the future.

The Volunteer community is enriched by your efforts. I hope that summer brings well-earned rest and recovery from the hectic pace of the academic year.

It is truly an honor to work beside you every day.

John Zomchick
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor