Letter to the Editor: The importance of gratitude

September 23, 2015 by Jill Wruble

To the Editor:

A popular young professor wrote 60 letters of recommendation last fall. Guess how many students thanked him?

Zero.

This bewilders me. It bewildered but did not sour your remarkable professor. And it bewilders those I’ve told –  and members of your community suggested this letter to the Record.

You Ephs are a talented, earnest and forward-looking bunch. Some might add that you are “gratitude-challenged.”

Perhaps. But, more likely, just unaware. Unaware that your gratitude is not implicit. Unaware that your explicit thanks is gracious and decent and essential. Unaware that thanks is your role in the reciprocal student-professor relationship that sets the College apart.

I teach. And I can tell you that those who teach (and those whose coach, or clean, or administer) deeply appreciate a low-key acknowledgement. So keep a box of note-cards on hand. Send off a thank-you note. Three handwritten lines. Five minutes tops. Simple and spectacular.

You Ephs will enter the post-undergraduate world as ambassadors for the College. Welcome into the fold and represent us well … Just say thanks.

Jill Wruble ‘83

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