* Michelle Thoughts

To the Students of U.P.

Dear students,

I want each of you that I’ve worked with to know that you were the highlight of my job and the biggest reason why I loved coming to work these past four years. As an introvert, I don’t often get my energy from other people, but you all energized me. Your passion, leadership, willingness to learn and grow, curiosity and outrage about issues, your abilities, and talents never ceased to amaze me. I don’t know how you think of me but in many ways I have considered myself a peer among you and have learned so much from so many of you. I would even, in forgetting our age differences, find myself “looking up to you” from time to time. The other day, I thought to myself: if I have a non-profit some day, I know there will be many of you I will be glad to have in my network because I have no doubt you will be doing amazing, world-changing things. I’ll be the one coming to you for answers.

I suppose some people might look at my “career” at the University and say that I didn’t spend enough time with other faculty or staff. But Universities are first and foremost for the students, and that’s why I was there. I treasure the year I spent living among the residents of Mehling (and the following year in Haggerty/Tyson), my time traveling with the Nicaragua and Border Plunge students, hanging out during the Service Plunge, laughing or reflecting with the Service & Justice Coordinators, and getting to know students who came through the office.

I thank you for extending me grace for the times when I was too focused on my tasks to be attentive enough to you, for failing to give you praise as often as you deserved to hear it, and for my many other weaknesses that might have affected you. You have helped me grow in numerous ways.  In my last days in the office, I felt very loved by your cards, notes, toasts, “be the chang” t-shirts, and video. I am not sure everything you said was true but I was humbled and I am grateful  you gave me the benefit of the doubt.

As students, I can’t encourage you enough to take advantage of building relationships with the Moreau Center staff. They are each wise and amazing mentors. I’m so glad I’ve had the chance to work alongside them and glean from their wisdom. It was not easy to give up my job but I had to trust that this was the right time and that God has a plan for a new chapter in our lives. (I have no doubt the Moreau Center is in good hands as well.)

If you’re interested, this is a link to my online Opinion piece in the Beacon addressed to the campus community: http://www.upbeacon.net/working-in-the-moreau-center-a-reflection-1.2188452

1 thought on “To the Students of U.P.”

  1. Hello Michelle,

    I was sincerely humbled by your writings here and in the Beacon.

    Your sincerity in your personality and humbleness helps make us all welcome.

    I can’t wait to hear from you again.

    Much Love,


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