I don’t know if it is true as T. S. Eliot says, that “April is the cruellest month,” but in our world, it is certainly one of the busiest months. For students, faculty and staff, everything is reaching a critical point. Papers are due. Final exams must be written in time for students to take them. All of the projects of this academic year need to be completed. Orientation is just around the corner. Then there are the events: banquets, receptions, formals, lunches, reunions – they all happen in April. And this year, just to keep things interesting, we tossed in the Civil Rights Summit with four US Presidents on campus!
April is also a wonderful month. Whether it is listening to the stories about student employees at the National Student Employee of the Year luncheon or being amazed by the talents of our students during Texas Revue or celebrating everything from leadership transitions to successful doctoral defenses, we are privileged to witness and celebrate an incredible range of student accomplishments. And then we arrive in May to celebrate the biggest success of them all – graduation. There is no prize for attending the most events or congratulating the most students – except the joy in being part of the celebrations themselves. It is a privilege to be able to share these moments with UT Austin students.
And yet, it is still a lot of work and I know that. But all I can do about April is share a heartfelt thank you to everyone who works so diligently to ensure that all of these events go well, to everyone who makes the extra effort to clean and set up the facilities, to everyone who finds the time to celebrate with students or to support them when it all becomes too much or doesn’t end quite as they wished. Whether students tell you or not, your presence is important to them. You have made a difference and on their behalf, I thank you.