Dear Harvard College Students,
Each Thanksgiving, I gather with family and friends to rest and reflect on the past year. On Thursday, I will be giving thanks for each of you and your unique place in our Harvard College community. You inspire me and remind me of the wonderful possibilities for our world.
This year, I also want to give thanks for all the teachers I have had in my life. Ever since my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Anik, told us that each of us had a reason for being born and that books could help us discover why we were put on this earth, I have seen education as a path toward finding purpose. Each time I visit our libraries, visit a class, or talk to students about their academic work, I am grateful to be part of this place that invites us to challenge ourselves and allows our imaginations to soar. Going to college helped me discover that I wanted to teach. I learned from my own professors that it was possible to dedicate my life to the pursuit of knowledge, something that had not occurred to me because of the day-to-day concerns that preoccupied my immigrant family. It was as if I had been carrying a key and then suddenly discovered the lock it could open. I hope that each of you may have similar experiences finding new possibilities here at Harvard.
Whether you are traveling a great distance, staying close to Cambridge, or remaining on campus for the holiday, I wish you a joyful respite. I look forward to sharing the last few weeks of the semester with you.
Danoff Dean of Harvard College