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Holiday Thank-You Correspondence

December 19, 2011

Michael Bugeja, director,
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication,
Iowa State University of Science and Technology

The seemingly small task of thank-you correspondence is all-important as we approach the end of the calendar year, wishing our constituents well in an inclusive and celebratory manner.

This is what I am working on today, sending letters and electronic cards to faculty, staff, alumni, benefactors and friends.

For our alumni, we designed a simple holiday e-card that reads: “We wish you a joyous holiday season and happiness throughout the New Year! From the faculty, staff and students of the Greenlee School.”

Attached to that email was a letter from me, which begins: “Every year at this time, between Thanksgiving and the New Year, we pause to thank our alumni, benefactors and friends for their support during the past calendar year.”

The letter recounts faculty and student achievements and ends with a message of gratefulness:

“Our benefactors have provided more than $100,000 this year in scholarships. However, this letter is not a plea for more financial support. It is a thank-you letter for past support and future encouragement as the Greenlee School continues to excel as one of the oldest, best and longest continuously accredited programs in the country. As for the present, we wish you and your family and friends all of the blessings of the season.”

Thank-you letters do not end there. I write a letter to each faculty member, lecturer and staff employee expressing my gratitude for all that they have done in the calendar year. I find something positive to say about everyone, congratulating some for their research, others for their teaching and all for their service, citing specific examples.

After writing those individual letters, and upon receiving return thank-you responses from several professors and staffers, it occurred to me that the Greenlee School had one more thing to celebrate: collegiality.

In the end, that is the greatest gift of all.

May each of you enjoy the same in your department, school and college. We at the Greenlee School wish you hope, health and happiness in 2012 and always.

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