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Dear members of the University community:

December 15, 2010

In this season of thanksgiving and celebration, we reflect with gratitude on the gifts of the past year. My husband Doug and I are especially grateful to be sharing the holidays with new friends and colleagues.

Each of you -- students, staff and faculty -- has made our first semester at the University extraordinary. Because of your kindnesses, we feel as though we have been members of this community for many years, rather than a scant five months.

I want to thank everyone who works so tirelessly each day to make the University -- whether here in Charlottesville, at the College at Wise, or at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies' sites across the state -- the special place it is. I have been deeply moved by the steadfast commitment you show for this university and for our most important missions, to educate our students and to serve our patients.

My hope for you now is that you will be able to take a well-earned respite and enjoy time with family and friends. You know that Mr. Jefferson said, "The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family." I expect you to heed his advice during the upcoming winter break. At the same time, I hope you will also keep in mind your extended family here at the University, those with whom you share daily achievements.

Doug joins me in wishing you a warm and happy holiday season. May the new year bring you and your loved ones much peace and joy.

Please enjoy these festive holiday images

Teresa A. Sullivan