Kenneth Alexo Jr., PhD
Vice President, University Advancement
The novelist and playwright G.B. Stern is reputed to have said that “silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” It’s pretty difficult to argue with the logic of her aphorism. To be thankful for something good we have received and yet fail to say “thank you” looks and feels an awful lot like ingratitude.
No one, of course, wants to be thought ungrateful—and institutions of higher education are no exception. At Drew University, we do our very best to thank our alumni, parents, and friends for the many wonderful gifts that they provide, each and every day and typically without a lot of fanfare. But we also know that our usual means of conveying our appreciation (phone calls, emails, on- and off-campus events, letters from the president, and, yes, even gift receipts signed by yours truly) do not correspond to the actual value or impact of those gifts.
I can’t hope to remedy the shortcoming in the space of this short column. What I can do, however, is offer you the entire Drew community’s gratitude for all that you do, and for the many and varied things that your gifts make possible:
- Thank you for helping us identify and enroll the next generation of talented and hard-working Drew students.
- Thank you for establishing the scholarships and fellowships that support those students and enable them to join the distinguished ranks of Drew alumni.
- Thank you for offering the internships, externships, and summer jobs that prepare them for achievement and leadership in the world beyond our campus gates.
- Thank you for helping us attract and retain a faculty of world-class teacher-scholars dedicated, above all else, to mentoring their students.
- Thank you for serving on the career panels, participating in the conferences, and delivering the guest lectures that enhance our students’ educational experience.
- Thank you for enriching the buildings and public spaces in which our students learn biochemistry, perfect their three-point shot, form friendships, and build a community.
- Thank you for attending Alumni Reunion, Tipple-Vosburgh, Full Impact Days, Drew Forum lectures, and other on- and off-campus events.
- Thank you for including Drew in your will and estate plans, providing for its future growth and prosperity.
- Thank you for participating in our pioneering off-campus and international programs of study, from Wall Street and London to SoHo and Seoul, that set Drew apart as one of this nation’s finest private universities.
- Thank you for serving as class agents and reunion volunteers, which keeps the connection between all alumni and Drew strong.
- Thank you for making your annual gift and doing your part to help boost the university’s ranking and reputation, and enhance the value of all Drew degrees.
In a word, your contributions of time, talent, and treasure are what enable Drew to fulfill its mission: to offer students “a challenging and individualized education shaped by a deep-rooted culture of mentoring, thoughtful engagement with the world beyond its campus, and a steadfast commitment to lifelong cultivation of the whole person.”
For this, we are most grateful. About this, we proudly refuse to keep silent.
Thank you, once again, for all you do for Drew, and warm wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season.