VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D. with students in Shafer Court on the second day of classes of the fall 2013 semester

Thankful for you

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As our university and our nation pause to reflect on our many reasons to be thankful, I am reminded how thankful I am for the people who make up Virginia Commonwealth University.

In our classrooms, laboratories, studios and clinics, my faculty colleagues are writing the future. What they create and discover here will be the next wave of human innovation. Our 32,000 students, who come to VCU from around the world, are committed to becoming a new generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. Their ideas and creativity will shape our society. My staff colleagues are the heartbeat of our university, ensuring that we continue to be effective and efficient in our mission and a model university for the 21st century.

At VCU Medical Center, our physicians, nurses and other care partners are saving lives, extending lives and giving lives new meaning. They are ensuring that our diverse patients — in Richmond, South Hill and throughout the Mid-Atlantic — will always receive the very best care from the very best people. They are the reason we are both our region’s safety net and its top-ranked hospital.

More than 120,000 VCU alumni have left a legacy of excellence and are investing in us to help ensure that we remain among the nation’s premier research universities. And countless friends, supporters and donors are joining us in our mission of helping people succeed in big ways through their wisdom and investments.

So many people make VCU a university that’s unlike anyplace else. Given the pace of our progress, I  seldom have the chance to say thank you. But this week, set aside to remember our gratitude, I thank you all for your many contributions to VCU.

You remind me that there is no place I would rather be than here, at our distinctive and extraordinary university that is profoundly changing the world. I am thankful for you, now and always.

Happy Thanksgiving.