Dear Students,

Like many of you, I’ve been battling a bad cold the last couple of weeks, which, through a fog of NyQuil this past weekend, I think made me the university president who has watched the most Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings movies (I’m not endorsing this, by the way) — and has also allowed me a little bit more time than usual to read and reflect. So, as I write my usual spring break “don’t do anything stupid” message, I also want to invite you to think for a minute about the meaning of that word, “spring.” In the natural world, it’s a pushing up from the earth, implying a movement from the cold and darkness toward light. In Old English, “springan” meant to burst forth, grow, stretch outward — and of course, there’s the meaning that came into common use in the last century, “to free from imprisonment.”

In any case, all of these meanings seem relevant to Spring Break. This is a time to stretch, enjoy the sun and daylight, free yourself to whatever extent you can from the usual tasks and burdens of college life, and get energized for the second half of the semester and the push toward commencement.

Some of you will make meaningful differences in our world through alternative spring break; others of us will rest and recharge. Whatever you decide to do, have fun, make responsible choices, please look out for yourselves and one another, and — wait for it — don’t do anything stupid. Our world needs everything you each have to offer, so we need you all back here week after next, rested up and ready for that push to the finish line through finals (couldn’t resist bringing those up) and for many of you, on to graduation. Be well.


Dr. Tony Frank