A cartoon rendering of an outdoor Emory campus scene in the fall

Dear Emory Community,

Though Halloween is always a lot of fun, I’m looking forward to the start of the holiday season this week with Thanksgiving. For many, it is a time to reconnect with family and friends, rest and reflect, and—let’s be real—eat some amazing food! It is a brief but needed break from the busyness of our daily lives.

Thanksgiving is also a day dedicated to gratitude. This Thanksgiving, I want to say how grateful I am for you. The members of the Emory community—students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters—have provided me with so much inspiration. I am deeply thankful for your hard work and dedication during a year when you faced tremendous adversity.

I also appreciate how fortunate we are to have come this far in the pandemic, where—because of your commitment and the scientific breakthroughs needed for vaccines and therapeutics (some of which were tested and discovered at Emory)—we can gather this week with less anxiety and more hope for what the future will bring. As you prepare to travel or celebrate at home, it is important to remember there are many steps you can take to stay healthy and safe while still enjoying the holiday festivities.

Henry David Thoreau once wrote: “I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.” That’s how I feel about Emory. I appreciate the opportunity I have, every single day, to serve you.


Gregory L. Fenves