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A Message to Staff and Faculty from President Kathleen McCartney, March 20, 2020

Dear Staff and Faculty,

Last night, a member of the CIRT sent an email to others on the team with the subject line “Good news—gratitude practice.” In her note, she shared a personal update, namely that her son would be coming home from his Peace Corps assignment today. Others followed her lead with their own moments of gratitude from the day: an evening walk without a device in hand, a FaceTime call with a grandson, a first home that is almost ready for move-in day, a grandmother’s 79th birthday, and a sighting of a star magnolia on campus about to bloom.

One year, my Ivy Day speech was about my own gratitude practice. The main lesson of this talk is that we can find something to be grateful for each and every day—even on the difficult days. Every evening before bed, I reflect on this quote from Maya Angelou: Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And then I make my list.

If you are like me, perhaps this seemed like a long week. But we all got through this first week of a “new normal” way of working, and I would have to give us all an A+ grade. Let us be grateful for this dedicated, flexible, hard-working, caring community, where our love for Smith students is always at the center.

Warm regards,