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Letter to WVU faculty and staff: Celebrating and welcoming all

December 21, 2015

Dear Faculty and Staff:

It has been a year of challenge and opportunity for our West Virginia University family. As I look back, I am proud, yet not surprised, over your feats and triumphs. Without a doubt, you are the engine that keeps this institution running.

I tell myself every day that we are here for the students. But we cannot have outstanding students without outstanding faculty and staff to enlighten them.

For example, Powsiri “Dr. Klink” Klinkhachorn earned the designation as this year’s West Virginia Professor of the Year. But what really matters is his tutelage of future engineers and management of student award-winning robotics teams.

This fall, I went “undercover” in one of my GeeMail videos to showcase the hard work performed day-to-day by our staff – from the cooks in the kitchens to the street-sweeping maintenance crews. It served as an eye-opener, making me realize that presidents do not have the hardest job on campus.

This past year, we have witnessed an emergence of tension and turmoil across our country’s college campuses. And the news of terror, racial disharmony and abuses taking place around the world remains unsettling.

Fortunately, here at West Virginia University, we tend to one another in a more thoughtful and compassionate manner.

I attribute this to the dedication you have shown to this University and its people. Our campus is home to many from around the world. We embrace all people, regardless. Regardless of race. Regardless of religion. Regardless of politics. Regardless of sexual orientation.

Regardless.

Together we will continue to make this institution a beacon – through our words, our actions and our commitment to each other. I want you and your families to know that I cherish each and every one of you and the special spirit that you bring to our University.

Have a wonderful holiday break. I look forward to working with and for you in 2016.

Happy holidays to all.

E. Gordon Gee
President, West Virginia University