BY DR. LARRY THOMPSON
Reposted from SRQ Daily article on 11/26/16.
Let me be a bit more personal in this column, during this period of Thanksgiving, and directly talk about what we at Ringling College of Art and Design are thankful for.
First, thank you to the Sarasota-Manatee community for appreciating and supporting the ideals we at Ringling College hold dear: art, design, culture, education and community. These values have become the pillars of our region and afford our residents unparalleled opportunities in a community of this size—art museums and galleries, performing arts venues, and education institutions of the highest caliber. These are the reasons our community stands out from all the other beach communities in the State of Florida.
Second, thank you to all of those in this area who care about and/or support Ringling College. You are the folks who attend our events, support our campus projects, provide scholarships for our students, and spread the good word about the College and why creativity and culture are values worth pursuing and supporting. You take ideas and work alongside us to put them into action. The proof of your support lies within two of our four current building projects: In 2017, we will be opening up the Alfred R. Goldstein Library, and in 2018 the Sarasota Museum of Art in the Historic Sarasota High School—two facilities that, for the first time in our history, were funded entirely by the generosity of our donors. These incredible additions to our institution are the realization of our combined vision, enthusiasm, and hard work.
Third, thank you to our devoted and creative faculty members and staff. We are a tight-knit collective, and all of us are at Ringling College because we believe deeply in the power of creativity to inspire change and progress. The faculty and staff work tirelessly to shape the upcoming generation of creative leaders: artists, designers, filmmakers, writers, animators, illustrators and scholars. Without them, we simply couldn’t exist.
And finally, thank you to our students and alumni. The students are the reason the College exists. It is and through their passion and curiosity that the institution is motivated to revisit, question, challenge, change, and grow. And students, once you graduate from Ringling, your successes become our successes. Thank you so very much for the energy and enthusiasm you bring to us
This enthusiasm was especially visible earlier this month. Over 400 students attended our “Ringling Gives Thanks” event to show, in only the way Ringling students can, their appreciation for the gifts our donors and community members have given to support their art and design education. I was touched by the number of excited students who came over their lunch break and stayed far longer, to actually write by hand thank you notes to the people who helped bring them to Ringling College.
Indeed, we have a lot to be thankful for. And I, for one, look forward to starting this holiday season on a note of gratitude and appreciation for all that you, the collective you, contribute. Because of you, we are among the top art and design schools in the country in one of the most creative and cultural cities in the region. We are on a fast trajectory to becoming THE preeminent art and design college globally and, thanks to you, I know that’s exactly what we will do.