student pins message of gratitude at Forum on Gratitude Day


Sunrise thoughts

A morning walk around campus is the perfect time for renewed gratitude for many of the wonderful things about the University of Richmond.
President Kevin F. Hallock

I prefer to start my day with a 4.3-mile sunrise stroll around the most beautiful campus in the United States. While I love so many things about the University of Richmond, on these walks, I am consistently struck by my favorite thing: our people.

In the quiet of the early morning, I see our custodial staff cleaning residence halls, our landscaping crews planting flowerbeds and mowing turf, and our URPD officers focused on campus safety. I wave hello and think how fortunate we are to have such dedicated, hardworking colleagues. I pass along the edge of our Eco-Corridor and greet neighbors emerging from our woodland trails with friends, both human and canine. And I take pride in Spiders’ myriad efforts to preserve our campus and make UR even more sustainable.

While completing four laps around the track of Robins Stadium, I sometimes see Spider athletes and think about the grit and determination it takes to do what they do. I also feel thankful for the coaches and staff who support our athletes, those who coordinate game-day parking and ticket taking, and the donors who help us ensure our athletic facilities are best-in-class.

“I encourage you to take note of the many remarkable and dedicated Spiders who advance our mission, enrich our web, and support and inspire one another.”

As I see the Robins Center, I think about the alumni, families, and friends who join us to cheer on our Spiders and visit one another in the stands. I also reflect upon the academic traditions we celebrate in our illustrious arena, from the University Welcome, where many Spider students and families start their journey and meet one another for the first time, to commencement, where the entire Richmond experience culminates and life as a Spider graduate begins.

I eventually stroll by Westhampton Lake, greeting geese, ducks, and, occasionally, Triceragoose. Heading up the stairs of the University Forum, I see students connecting with one another for early morning conversation and entering D-Hall for a delicious meal prepared by our award-winning dining services team. Over the course of my walk, I pass all five of our schools and see faculty entering buildings — to prepare for classes, meet with students, or engage in research or creative work. By the time I return home and rapidly prepare for my own arrival in the office, I’m super-excited for the new day.

Our communications team does an incredible job highlighting Spiders’ achievements and contributions, including in the pages of this magazine — but these stories are just the tip of the iceberg. Next time you visit campus or look back on your experiences at Richmond, I encourage you to take note of the many remarkable and dedicated Spiders who advance our mission, enrich our web, and support and inspire one another.

I am so proud to be a Spider and grateful for the company I keep. Thank you for being an important part of our web. And thank you for making our university community stronger every day.