Simpson College Gives Thanks

We all have so very much to be thankful for so we reached out to our faculty and staff and asked them to share the things for which they are most thankful. Since we knew family and friends would most likely top everyone’s list, we offered those as ‘givens’ and asked what else ranks right up there. What follows are their responses.

Everyone at Simpson College wishes you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving and hope you are sharing it with loved ones and those most special to you.

I’m thankful to have been born and raised and still living in the Midwest. – Rita Birkenholtz, Manager of Development Services

My list is long and not necessarily in order…but primarily I am thankful for the love and good health of my family; that my Dad is still with us at 93 years of age (almost 94); that I have a great place to work and the talents to do so; for my precious granddaughter;  my faith and the freedoms we have as citizens of the United States…..etc. etc. – Gwen Schroder, Director of Transfer Enrollment

I am thankful that my Mom is still with us and has even bounced back more quickly than expected from a triple whammy of pneumonia, sepsis, and viral meningitis that put her into the hospital for five days this past August. – Kim Baltes, Payroll Coordinator

I am thankful for the most caring and dedicated colleagues in the Biology Department at Simpson College. I am thankful for a few days to catch up on grading before finals. I am thankful for a few days with fewer emails in my in-box (not ZERO, but FEWER). I am thankful for a few days of great weather and time outside to play with my children. I am thankful for a few days to catch a movie with my family instead of staying up late grading assignments. I am thankful for good friends and good food. – Jackie Brittingham, Department Chair and Professor of Biology

Although I have numerous things to be thankful for this year – including friends, family and health – the other thing that I am most thankful for is my coworkers.  I learn from them every day and I am so very thankful to have them as friends, mentors, and colleagues! – Heather Gaumer, Loan Coordinator

I am thankful for some intelligent, personable and hardworking students. – Nicci Whalen, Department Chair and Assistant Professor of Sport Science and Health Education

I am thankful for the beautiful new Kent Campus Center! – Sue Bowlin, Mailroom Manager

I am thankful for the wonderful high school students I have met out on the road this fall!  Choose Simpson! – Brittany Preston, Assistant Director of Admissions

I am thankful to live in a country that believes in freedom of speech and freedom of religion. – Amy Day, Corporate Relations Specialist

I’m thankful for laughter, whether it comes from me or from others; hearing the sound of laughter always makes me feel happy, contented and safe. (It goes without saying that where I work, I always hear the sound of laughter every day.) – Becky Beaman, Faculty Services Secretary

George Washington said it better than me. – Pete Taggart, History Instructor

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

[New York, 3 October 1789]

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.

Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed–for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed–to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord–To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789. – George Washington

My new office in the Kent Center. – Tammy Miller, Administrative Assistant

In addition to being thankful for family, friends, good health, our home and jobs, I’m thankful for Simpson International Students; Jacek from Poland and Etienne from Tahiti.  It has been a joy to include them in our family this semester and learn about their lives and families.  Knowing them makes the world feel a bit smaller and more friendly.  It’s true that when you give you really are receiving.  We opened our home to them but we feel like the lucky ones.  They have been a blessing. – Julie Manatrey, Admissions Support Specialist

I am thankful for all the beautiful squirrels that grace the campus. – John Pauley, Professor of Philosophy

I am thankful for the incredibly dedicated Theatre Simpson student company.  – Ann Woldt, Assistant Professor of Theatre

With the passing of my Father a week ago, I was reminded why I have chosen to stay at Simpson for so many years. Simpson is who we are because of the wonderful people that work here and care about each other. For that, I am extremely thankful! – Brian Niemuth, Women’s Basketball Coach

I’m thankful for alums who stay in touch (having just seen two in Chicago). – Jan Everhart, Associate Professor of Religion

I am thankful for my wonderful students, for my colleagues’ dedication to their success, for Simpson’s musical culture, and to the community for welcoming my family and me to Iowa. – Bernard McDonald, Director of Opera

I am thankful that Jim Kent Sr. was able to attend the Kent Campus Center grand opening ceremony and hear and see our appreciation. – Ken Fuson, Marketing Writer/Media Strategist

I’m thankful for my church family. They are amazing – inside and out. – Tabitha Lamb, Upward Bound Academic Advisor

I am thankful for all the great, smart, dedicated, happy people at Simpson College who make this such an amazing place for students to succeed and who make working here such a pleasure! – Jill Johnson, Executive Director of Marketing and Public Relations

I am thankful every time I hear my children laugh. – Mary Jane Cassady, Secretary of Annual Giving

I am thankful for the sacrifices that others make to keep this country free.  I am free to worship, learn, and dream without fear of retaliation. – Ken Beane, Education Instructor

I am thankful for so many things (obviously the love of family and friends being first and foremost), but I am extremely thankful I have a job in this difficult economy. I am also thankful for those who fight for our freedom. I am ever thankful that we have a President who is willing to support laws that fight for everyone’s freedom and equality. Lastly I am thankful for my office-mate, Liz. She is absolutely the best person to work side by side with. – Karin Hooper, Circulation Supervisor

It’s a blessing to be a part of the Simpson community and I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with wonderful, dedicated faculty and professionals.  I’m thankful for students, many of whom are not only eager to learn but who often surprise us with some amazing creativity and intelligence. And I’m grateful for God’s many blessings on our town, state and country – we are so very privileged! – Jennifer del Pino, Director, Career Services

I am thankful for having parents who truly care, a loving spouse, and a wonderful place to work. – Luke Behaunek, Director of Residence Life

I am thankful for chocolate. It’s always there when I need it. – Katie Princehouse, Admissions Counselor

I’m thankful for three wonderful, healthy and hilarious children that make my husband and I laugh daily! Their smiles light up our lives and I’m blessed to share my days with them! – Leslie Diehl, Art Director

I am thankful for a great many things, but one particularly appropriate to this setting is this: I am thankful for a career as an educator.  I’ve taught every age from elementary (Sunday School) to graduate students, and I’ve never had a boring day, or a day where there was not one element of satisfaction. – Steve Rose, Professor of Education

After Hurricane Sandy, it makes me more thankful for the daily necessities I take for granted that many people on the east coast are still working through, such as housing, food and clothing, electricity, gasoline for travel, and the list goes on.  I am also thankful for those who are pitching in to help them through this traumatic time.  My thanks go to our men and women who serve in the armed forces. For me personally it is family, friends, meaningful employment, and faith that carries me through each day. Marilyn Leek, Director of Procurement

I am thankful to live in Iowa.  My home state is a leader in producing great people and ideas, as well as being a leader in farm production. – Julie Hill, Administrative Assistant

Faith, Family, Friends, and my dogs Obie and Oli. – Sherri Aldridge, Accounts Receivable Director

I am thankful for the chocolate of hot at the Kent Center, the light of golden on the trees on the way to McNeill, the hobble-gobble of youth sprinting out of a classroom to a life angled and dangled like autumn at Living History Farms where the race hills and dales and tumbles and streams, muds and slides until a weathered fist grabs a big fat glazed donut with a smile…SUCCESS! Marty Feeney, Adjunct Professor, Communication and Media Studies

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