Year-end projects. Exams. Grant deadlines. Lesson plans and research articles.  The lives of Washington State University faculty, staff and students are busy, to be sure. But as our community nears Thanksgiving break, my hope is that individually and collectively we take some time to reflect on how lucky we truly are.

There is much to be thankful for. Together, the Cougar Nation has made remarkable progress on a number of major initiatives. We are on track and on time in establishing the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. We have celebrated completion of the $1 billion Campaign for Washington State University. We continue working toward a unique new partnership with Bellevue College that stands to fundamentally change higher education access in our state. We have the first comprehensive research plan in place in at least the recent history of the institution. Enrollment hit a new record. The football team is bowl bound. Those are the just the big accomplishments.

I am also thankful for the daily contributions each of us makes as a part of this community. I am thankful for students who go to class, conduct research, and participate in a club or philanthropic activity. I am thankful for faculty members who day in and day out balance responsibilities in the classroom, the lab and in the field. I am thankful for staff members at all levels for keeping operations running smoothly and efficiently. And, I am thankful for the Cougar spirit that holds us all together in whatever we undertake.

I hope your Thanksgiving is filled with fun, good food and time with family and friends, and an Apple Cup victory, too.  I also hope that you are able to take a moment to reflect on what you are most thankful for.