Thankful for Our Golden Flashes Family
Dear Kent State University Students, Faculty and Staff,
This Thanksgiving, we have the opportunity to consider three words that begin with “m.” In the history of presidential communications, the words “mask,” “mandate” and “mashed potatoes” (OK, that’s four words) have perhaps never appeared together. As you plan for our upcoming holiday, I urge you to make it a safe and restful one as we continue to take care of each other in the true spirit of Kent State.
Thank you for wearing masks when indoors at Kent State. This helps all of us stay healthy and no doubt contributes to an overall decline of COVID-19 cases across the university as well as infection rates that are considerably lower than this time last year. I particularly want to thank those who wear masks even though they would rather not. By doing something you would otherwise prefer not to, you honor our community, and I applaud your Flashes Take Care of Flashes spirit.
Then there’s the vaccine mandate. Vaccinations are key to our post-pandemic future, to returning to some sense of normal operations at Kent State. I know that it is a major demand for everyone in our community. Believe me, I understand that. As with mask-wearing, I call out and thank those who are following the mandate even though you otherwise would not have been vaccinated. What a true demonstration of your caring for others!
To those who have been granted exemptions from vaccination, I honor your personal choice and thank you in advance for participating in regular testing during the spring semester. With our population fully vaccinated and/or tested regularly, we will approach the most normal of operations since the pandemic began. You have always held – we have always held – the safety of ourselves and others in our hands. Thank you for taking this effort seriously.
So now for those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving, it is on to the eating of mashed potatoes (and sweet potatoes, turkey and pie)! Travel safely. Wear a mask indoors as needed and appropriate, and get tested before returning home or celebrating the holiday to keep your loved ones safe. Most importantly, enjoy your downtime. Certainly, you have earned it. Recharge your batteries, binge-watch a favorite program, read that novel you have been meaning to get to and enjoy your days off.
If you are around Kent on Saturday, Nov. 27, please join us at Dix Stadium as the Golden Flashes take on the Miami University RedHawks in football. At this game, we will welcome home Greg Crawford, Ph.D., the president of Miami, and his wife, Renate Crawford, Ph.D. Both are Kent State graduates – they met at Kent State – and it will be my honor to recognize them at the game.
What interesting times we live in. Certainly, they have been trying times, but they also have brought out the best in us. Over your holiday break, get some rest and come back to finish the semester strong. Good luck with final examinations.
Since this is the holiday for giving thanks, let me say thank you to our faculty for teaching our students as we continue to transition back to a normal level of in-person classes. Please join me, too, in thanking our Kent State staff. They keep our campuses clean, beautiful and safe; they keep our campuses running; and they always have our deepest gratitude.
Happy Thanksgiving, and go Flashes!