Winding It Down
As the clock ticks away on the fall semester, I want to express my sincere gratitude to you for all that you, as an individual and as a body of students, have done to make this semester a success story.
Of course, everything that happened this fall wasn’t a “‘Happy Together’ moment.” We had to deal with a few issues of behavior that violated the Community Conduct Code, and some of these are very serious. Some of you endured personal illness or even had to experience the loss of a family member or close friend. Getting involved and connecting with others has proven to be a challenge for some, especially those who are here for the first time, and for others the challenge has been finding the financial resources to continue. In all of these cases, I would ask you to consider the word “resilience.” That’s a word that I hope every one of you will claim.
A Google search yielded this description: “Ability to adapt to adversity…to roll with the punches…when stress, adversity or trauma strikes you still experience anger, grief and pain, but you’re able to keep functioning—both physically and psychologically.” Or, as the husband of Belmont Board member Gina Winwood, Rock-and-Roll Hall of Famer Steve Winwood, writes and sings, “When life is too much, roll with it, baby.”
As I was walking across campus recently, I asked one of you “What’s up?” and the reply was “I’m trying to make Belmont great!” My reply was “We can’t do it without you,” to which I received the enthusiastic reply “I’m on it!” It’s clear to me that most all of you are “on it.” The cooperative spirit that we’ve enjoyed this fall is remarkable. We had some very substantial discussions around important and hard-to-agree-on topics, and the discussion has been respectful and civil. While we’ve had some of the problems I referenced earlier, I sense that you have embraced the concept of looking out for one another and the idea that if you see something, you should do something to help keep your fellow students safe. And it seems to me that the focus on learning and growing has been exceptionally intense. With your help, we can continue on the path that will lead to Belmont’s greatness. Thank you, and I pray that God will bless you and your family during this blessed Christmas season.
“I’ll be Home for Christmas”– Bing Crosby (or Josh Groban)