November 29, 2021
This is the season for giving thanks—for treasured family, close friends, loving pets, valued colleagues, good health, a safe home, opportunity, grace, and more. I hope you had a wonderful holiday in which to savor your own sources of gratitude. I know I did.
One of things I am most grateful for this year is the CIIS community. In three months, you have shown me warmth, welcomed me as a trusted member, and shared your hopes, needs, and challenges. I take this seriously, and I hope you know that you and this community have my loyalty.
As I continue to listen and to discern how we can make CIIS even stronger and more resilient, one concern has lately emerged: how we can better support students. The new Strategic Plan, currently in development, will address this; but we have an opportunity to do something now!
Tomorrow, November 30, is Giving Tuesday, the global celebration of people around the world creating a community of generosity. This year, I’m thrilled to announce that all unrestricted donations will fund scholarships for CIIS students in need.
Equally exciting is that thanks to a generous donor, the first $15,000 in gifts under $250 will be matched, so even a small donation can make double the impact.
Imagine the impact we could have if our entire community gave to support this worthy effort! I encourage us to try.
To kick off Giving Tuesday, I am personally giving $1,968 to support our students (that is the amount of CIIS’ 1968 Circle campaign), as are four Board members. I hope you’ll join me in giving as much as you feel comfortable with—truly, anything helps.
We’ve done much together in our short time together—new initiatives like the Restoration and Reinvestment Action Plan to support faculty and staff; elevating the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Rachel Bryant to Chief Diversity Officer; and welcoming Kathy Littles as Provost. There is much more to be done to live up to our Seven Commitments. Donating tomorrow on Giving Tuesday to fund student scholarships is one important step on the journey.
Thank you for all you do and for your continued support of CIIS!