November 25, 2020

Dear Pacificans,

This will be a Thanksgiving like none other.

We have endured unprecedented challenges that would have been unimaginable just nine months ago. 

Wildfires that ravaged communities across California.

An election that revealed a deeply divided nation. 

Horrific injustices that continue to be perpetuated on Black Americans. 

And a global pandemic that has dramatically disrupted every facet of our lives—physical and psychological, financial and familial—in dimensions that are sometimes hard to comprehend.

Yet, despite all of this, I find myself entering this Thanksgiving holiday enormously grateful. And that is because of you.

I am thankful for you, our students, a remarkably resilient and determined collection of young people who continue to work tirelessly, simply refusing to let these daunting obstacles stand in the way of your hopes, dreams and pursuit of your education. You inspire me every day.

I am thankful for you, our faculty, who amaze me each day with your single-minded passion for teaching and growing our students, finding new and creative ways to give our students the Pacific-quality education they all so richly deserve despite all challenges. You are master teachers who are role models for all of higher education.

I am thankful for you, our staff, who selflessly work each day to support our students and faculty, often from the confines of your kitchen table. Because of you, our faculty can continue their teaching and our students can continue their learning unabated, no matter what obstacles we face.

I am thankful for you, our leaders—Cabinet members, deans, Regents, donors and scores of others—who relentlessly protect the health, welfare and safety of our university community, working tirelessly to ensure a strong and bright future for California’s first university. You are the definition of servant leaders.

I am thankful for all of you, as well as our thousands of alumni around the world, for welcoming Jean and me into the Pacific family with a warmth and generosity of spirit that we cherish each day.

We continue to face short-term uncertainty, hoping we will be able to fully return to our three campuses in January but understanding that is a tenuous proposition as COVID-19 levels continue to surge this fall.

Nevertheless, I am more confident than ever that Pacific will continue to thrive because of you, working together. And that will make our celebrations when we get to see each other together again back at Pacific all the more rewarding.

Be safe. Be well. And happy Thanksgiving.
Christopher Callahan