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Season of Thanks

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Rebecca Chopp

Happy winter break 2017

Dear Friends,

As we prepare to leave campus for Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, I want to take a moment to reflect on the University of Denver’s values and share with you some thoughts on what they mean to me. I begin with a sense of incredible pride in our commitment to the public good in Denver and around the world. I continue to be thrilled to learn of the excellence of our faculty, the strength of our staff and amazing aspirations of the entire University community

There is a growing sense among many that we are living in an age of uncertainty and division. The rise of populist political movements, the breakdown of diplomacy, incidents of violence and terrorism, all contribute to a feeling that we have lost some measure of control over our destiny. Technology, which holds such promise to break down barriers and bring people closer together, also threatens to undermine our trust in one another. In an age of speed and noise, truth and thoughtfulness can get lost.

But amidst all this unease, we are also living in a time of unprecedented opportunity. New industries, non-profits, technologies and communities are being created in the blink of an eye. Public, private and civil society are building new approaches to solve old problems. Students have never had more ability to imagine, build, and scale ideas that have the power to change the world.

One of the greatest responsibilities we have as a university community is to catalyze the thoughtfulness, sense of responsibility and commitment to community our world so desperately needs. We continue to conduct amazing research to build the future and to tackle the great challenges and debates of the day. We embrace being an engaged university, promoting sustaining and enriching partnerships. Additionally, I am very proud of our faculty for approving the Freedom of Expression statement. We must support a free-flowing exchange of ideas. We need to engage one another in pursuit of commonality and respect for our differences. We must weave diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence into our very fabric. We must continue our momentum as a global activator of knowledge. It is only by doing so that we will be prepared to face the great challenges – and embrace the great opportunities – of our time.

As we take this break from campus, I am thankful to be part of such a dynamic and thriving community, and I am hopeful for all of the things we will accomplish together in the new year. These may be difficult times, but what we’ve learned from DU’s complex history and the commitment by each one of you allows us to accomplish so much good in Denver and in the world.

Wishing you and your loved ones all the best.

Warmest,

Rebecca