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November 19, 2018

A Message from Lehman College President José Luis Cruz
Thanksgiving Message

Dear Campus Community,

With Thanksgiving on its way, I want to wish all of you a happy holiday with the hope that you are able to share it in the company of family and friends.

The holiday season always makes me mindful that our College community has a lot for which to be thankful. On campus, we have students who are thoughtful, engaged and readying themselves for the challenges ahead, plus faculty and staff members dedicated to Lehman’s mission and fully understanding of the important local and global context of their work. As for alumni, supporters and friends of the College, their numbers continue to increase along with their generous contributions to the advancement of our mission through their time, knowledge and financial resources.

This year, particularly, we need to embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving without forgetting its painful, and sadly relevant, history.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated when European immigrants were welcomed at the table by Native Americans. We can and should draw strength from the spirit of optimism and gratitude this meeting represented. But we must also remember the greed and injustice that followed, betraying the spirit of said meeting and ultimately shaping some of the most shameful events of our history.

Thus, let’s make Thanksgiving a holiday for giving thanks, embracing truths, learning from history and the missed opportunities from that first encounter, and celebrating communion and survival.

Let's make Thanksgiving an invitation to do what we can to upend the trajectory of division our country often seems to be on, to keep working for a just and equitable future for all of us, and to ensure that the United States remains a benevolent destination for those seeking safety and opportunity in their lives.

And in doing so, as we also celebrate Native American Heritage Month, let’s keep in mind the words of writer Sherman Alexie: "Look, you tried to kill us all, and you couldn’t. We’re still here, waving the turkey leg in the face of evil."

With deep appreciation for all of your efforts on behalf of Lehman College and the Bronx,


Previous messages from President Cruz can be found here.