The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

What are you thankful for?

We at the University have many blessings in life, things that we often take for granted. This Thanksgiving, The Cavalier Daily asked University students, faculty and administrators to write about the things for which they are thankful:

I am grateful for the continued existence of books. Our civilization may survive because of them. But I do worry that there are too many of them, too many people writing them, too many of them done too hurriedly, in search of too many bucks, too many barely worth reading. But we will survive, for some are real gems.
Herbert Tico Braun
Professor of History

I am thankful for natural things that give pleasure - for crisp, bright days and clean water and the aromas of natural objects and events. I am grateful for excellence produced by human effort, for beautiful and functional objects that empower people. I am grateful for human success - for peace, for compassion and wit and insight, for a community that works and feels moral conviction and respects its members and their values and backgrounds. My appreciation for the hard work done by students and faculty and staff has grown in recent years, even as my sense of the collective hard work that makes the University and its community productive and prosperous has grown.
John T. Casteen III
University President

I have mixed feelings about Thanksgiving. As a dedicated vegetarian since the age of 11, I mourn the unnecessary loss of millions of those birds. Yes, they're dumb birds, but so are a lot of voters and pundits I've met. Having said that, if Virginia Tech's turkey mascot were cooked and served, I would be sorely tempted to eat a bite or two. But that's another story.

On the positive side, I have so much to be thankful for, I can ignore the vicious carnivores all around me. Personally, I have the memory of the greatest dad who ever lived and a loving mother still here with me. My students are a true joy to teach; I only hope they have half the fun I do. The fine people who run our University library system are often forgotten, but shouldn't be since they enable the rest of us to be productive. I appreciate my secretary Shirley Mays, and the other terrific faculty and staff who make the Department of Government run. And my own staff at U.Va's new Center for Governmental Studies are a godsend. From program director Alex Theodoridis to the student interns, how blessed I (AND this University) have been to benefit from their exceptional service, which often keeps them in the office until well after midnight. Finally, may I add a word on behalf of The Cavalier Daily staff, who toil day and night - uncompensated in monetary terms - to give our community a truly first-rate newspaper. Think about that the next time you gripe about this or that aspect of the newspaper.

My all-time favorite movie is the l973 Lindsay Anderson film "O Lucky Man!" This Thanksgiving reminds me anew what a lucky man I am. Enjoy your holiday!
Larry J. Sabato
Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs

As a father, I am thankful for two exceptional kids who continue to surprise me every day with their knowledge and understanding of themselves, their father and their world.

As a husband, I am thankful for a wife who works together with me to solve or confront all issues in our lives, no matter how difficult or how trivial.

As a worker for the University of Virginia, I am thankful for the continued quality and commitment of its students and alumni and their willingness to tackle any task or issue that the University throws their way.
Wayne D. Cozart
Assoc. Director, Alumni Affairs
U.Va. Alumni Association

Every year around Thanksgiving, I think about what I value in an attempt to pinpoint something deeply significant and original for which to be thankful. This year I realized that nothing I am thankful for is particularly groundbreaking or exciting, but they are important. I am thankful for my time at the University: For the moments spent on the lawn in the sunshine, for the professors who took the time to recognize and cultivate my hidden intellectual, for the opportunity to recognize that not all is perfect at Mr. Jefferson's University, and the courage to incite positive change. I am thankful for the amazing people I have known here; I thank God both for those who have been an integral part of my college experience from day one and those who came into my life in more unexpected ways. I am thankful for surprises, large and small, which bring spontaneity and a sense of the greater plan into my too-scheduled and hectic life. Most of all, I am thankful for my mistakes and the family that has nurtured me through these to become the woman I am today and hope to become.
Sarah Walker
Virginia Model United Nations

I am ultra-thankful that I go to the University of Virginia. I am consistently struck by the quality of people around me - the relationships that I've developed here are worth more than anything I can imagine. Without them, I would be a different person. I'm thankful for my family, and for knowing that there are endless opportunities in life that lie ahead. I don't know if I'll ever be able to grasp how truly blessed I am.
Margaret Dumas
Inter-Sorority Council President

Once again it is the end of November and the question that everyone seems to ask every year is placed before me. What are you thankful for this year? In talking to my friends about this topic I heard responses such as one's health, being at U.Va., and other generic answers. I then came to the realization that it is the very people I am asking this question to that I am most thankful for, my friends. From the people on UJC to the crew; from the mock-trialers to my fraternity brothers; from bachelor's row extended to my mischievous horned friends, these are the people I am most thankful for, and who I wish to celebrate during this time of year.
Brian Hudak
University Judiciary Committee Chairman

In some ways, gratitude has become a lost virtue. Our access to many things is so quick, if not instant, that we forget the responsible efforts or energy of others. We have also become an expectant bunch who seem to specialize in impatience when we have to wait for a desired outcome or product. So, I think that our annual celebration of Thanksgiving gives us opportunities to renew the gracious ability to give thanks, and to recollect our many and various blessings, and the good tidings of the last year.
Aaron Laushway
Assistant Dean of Students

I am thankful for the hand that God has dealt me. The opportunity to receive an education and make a difference in this world - some never have this privilege, a mother and father who show perpetual love and support, a solid core of trustworthy friends, the miracle drug of insulin, the vision of those that have come before me, the willingness of others to share, the ability to be free, to walk, to see, to listen, to feel compassion, to be driven, to be a member of the U.Va. Class of 2000, to be a Southerner, a Virginian, and an American - for these gifts I am most thankful.
Rhodes Beahm Ritenour
Fourth-Year Class President

I am thankful to Katie Dodd and The Cavalier Daily for the invitation to answer "What are you thankful for?" More generally, for my wife, family, friends and community, and to God, for this wonderful life. To be called upon to make a public statement has made me think about thankfulness and of sharing it with others. It is very good of The Cavalier Daily to touch members of the University community in this way.
James Cargile
Professor of Philosophy

Thanksgiving always reminds me of the reason that I've come this far in my life - the constant support of my family. I've grown to appreciate them more with each passing year, but I also have found a second kind of family during the time I've spent away from my parents and sister. I'm thankful for my friends at the University who have helped me learn the most, laugh the hardest, and survive through the toughest moments. I also give thanks for the Lawn at sunset, challenging professors and courses, the energy I find in the Newcomb Hall basement, appropriate staff, night hawks, MLW, dancing, starry nights, cardinal and straw, sincerity, love and surprise. I would be lost without the One who makes these things possible, so I thank Him for making each of them a part of my life.
Amy Startt
Cavalier Daily Columnist

This Thanksgiving, I'm thankful to go home to supportive parents, to a place where I'll find my brothers playing Nintendo 64 and where there's always ice cream in the freezer. I'm thankful for warm hugs from my best friend ever, for the Rice Paddy chicas and my APhi sistas. I'm thankful for my grandmother's letters and the adorable kids in Mrs. Shepard's K-1 class at Greenbrier Elementary who always brighten my day. I'm thankful for poetry writing and warm sunny days on the Lawn, for O-Hill omelets and Pav smoothies, and for the opportunity to laugh and grow with everyone here at the University.
Jennifer Schaum
Cavalier Daily Associate Editor

I have found that a smile can change your whole day. Whether it's from another person or emotions of your own, a smile can make the worst of college days into the best of them. I am thankful for many things, but most of all I treasure the things that make me smile. I am thankful for my roommates' happy faces, two-hour Sunday calls from my mom, e-mails from my dad, pop music, test grades above the average and boys with good manners. If I didn't have all these things, among others, I couldn't make it through each day, and for them I am truly thankful.
Erin Perucci
Cavalier Daily Associate Editor

I am thankful for beauty in things and people. I'm thankful for the wonderful, funny and committed women of Opinion. I'm thankful for friends who know the value of laughter and know that life is better when you're not looking for a parking spot. I'm thankful for parents who show patience and allow me the room to make my own mistakes and earn my own triumphs. I'm thankful for a University that is home to so many good people doing good things, and I'm thankful that this University constantly is in flux, that it constantly is challenging itself and its assumptions.
Tom Bednar
Cavalier Daily Opinion Editor

As a fourth year, I am most thankful for the ways in which I've grown since I came to this University.

I am thankful that as I have grown, I have become more my mother's daughter, but that I'll never outgrow being my daddy's little girl. I'm thankful that distance has brought a new strength and maturity to my relationship with my baby sister. I'm thankful for the three people I've grown with; that despite my longing for a room of my own, I can't imagine living in a place not filled with their warmth, love and laughter.

I'm thankful that I found a home at The Cavalier Daily. Nothing could have prepared me better for the awful and wonderful field of journalism. And my Opinion family - especially Masha, Amy, Tom, Sparky, Erin and Jennifer - has challenged me daily to grow as a writer and editor, and taught me about loyalty and friendship.

Finally, I am thankful for my faith, which has given me the grounding and the strength to grow. Happy Thanksgiving.
Katie Dodd
Cavalier Daily Opinion Editor

As the end of my last fall semester draws near, I find myself appreciating the things I know I will miss when I leave in May. I am thankful for The Cavalier Daily, a wonderful organization that has given me lessons in writing, lessons in people, my own office, and more than one ulcer. For sunrises on the plaza, and for the Tavern at the crack of dawn. For snow on the Lawn and talks on the Rotunda steps; for meteor showers and midnight drives. And for those things in my life that remain constant: For my family, whose unconditional love and support reaches across an ocean, and for good friends, who help me through my darkest times. For faith, for a little brick church over the mountain, and for Father John, who doesn't turn me away no matter how many times I fall. For God, who makes this charmed life possible - I know I've got a long way to go, but I'm looking forward to the journey.
Masha Herbst
Cavalier Daily Executive Editor


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