Associate Dean of Admission Drew Riley found a small personalized note in his staff mailbox this week that simply read, “Happy holidays and thank you for all you do to make Colgate the incredible place it is!”
It was signed by someone named Dana. Riley thought the nice gesture was perhaps from someone he met while recruiting, until he ran into another member of the Office of Admission staff who received a similar letter — and someone in accounting… and the registrar’s office… and…
In fact, hundreds of Colgate faculty and staff from around campus received the personal, handwritten notes, each signed with individual student names or with a broader “Colgate students” signature.
Jenny Lundt ’19, a Benton Scholar and chair of the Student Government Association’s (SGA) External Relations Committee, said she and six fellow committee members dreamed up the idea to spread a little extra cheer around campus this year.
“There are so many people in this community who do so much work to improve our lives here and receive very little recognition in return,” Lundt said. “We decided that we wanted to have an event where every staff member would get a handwritten letter from a student thanking them for all of the work that they do.”
Members of the SGA, RetroText (a letter-writing group), and DoRAK (Do Random Acts of Kindness) hosted a night of card-writing in the Batza Room of Case Library.
“We got some funding, got the event catered, and provided a ton of stationary for people to use,” said RetroText founder Ben Fetzner ’17. “It was extremely well attended, and a lot of letters were written. We had the names and departments of all the faculty and staff, and people could comb through the list and look for people they wanted to write to.”
In total, Lundt said, nearly 100 students from across campus came together just days before the start of finals to work on the personal notes to campus staff, and they wrote about 600 letters.
“Going to deliver them was one of the most fun things I’ve done in my time here. It took only like 3 minutes out of some student’s days for a lot of happiness spread throughout campus,” Lundt said.