I’ve always trusted hard work more than good fortune. Yet I cannot deny that life ends up being shaped by both, as the famous 20th century American philosopher Forrest Gump taught us. So, while I feel more comfortable with the American tradition of the New Year’s resolution–something you commit to doing yourself–than with the Spanish “Carta a los Reyes”–favors of serendipity and good karma you wish to receive from three magical Kings–I will continue to practice both, just in case.
So Dear King Balthasar (yours truly’s favorite one of the three Kings), here are my wishes for George Mason University this year:
– Good fortune to all our students with their exams (and a corresponding increase in graduation rates!)
– Good fortune to all our graduates with their chosen career paths. Let us retain the outstanding employment outcomes that have so far set us apart!
– Tons of great applications from Virginia and beyond (and don’t mind sending many from out-of-state and international students!)
– A few major scientific breakthroughs and several more international awards to our faculty
– A turnaround in state tax revenues and a state budget with major investment in higher education
– A couple of major naming gifts and another fundraising record year
– NCAA championship bids in men’s and women’s basketball plus at least two other sports
– Please, please keep snow days to a minimum. I know you may receive many letters from students asking for the exact opposite and I hope you will consider seniority when assessing the merits of each request.
Above all, keep all our students, faculty and staff safe and our campus the open, welcoming, inclusive space that allows each one of us to grow each year.