Dear Colleagues and Friends:
As I conclude my 14-month interim service as president and my 19 years of active service to NKU in a variety of roles, I want to close with a simple message of thanks to the entire NKU community – our staff, faculty, administrators, students, alumni, and friends.
My heartfelt thanks to all of you for your unwavering support during what has been the most challenging of my roles at the university and for all you have done on a daily basis to help students succeed in achieving their dreams. All of you have contributed in so many ways, visible and invisible, to our success and to making my service so enjoyable and rewarding despite its many challenges.
The various positions I’ve held at NKU provided me with what I believed to be an appreciation for the valuable work performed all across campus. However, the last 14 months in this leadership role have given me a much deeper and more comprehensive appreciation for the work that every person on this campus does in support of our mission. In addition, the enormous love for and dedication to this university that you demonstrated daily inspired me and strengthened my resolve to do all I could for this university.
I hope that all of you who work on this campus understand and appreciate how much you also influence the essential active engagement by our alumni and our community and corporate friends. The work you do every day with our students, directly and indirectly, creates the environment that leads our students to choose to remain engaged with NKU after they graduate. The quality work and dedication you demonstrate also helps influence our community and corporate friends to engage and invest their time and other resources in our university.
To our alumni and community and corporate friends, know that we truly appreciate the value your engagement adds to the educational opportunities we provide our students. Your contributions enrich the educational experience for our students in a way that better prepares them for success upon graduation.
I also want to thank all of you who shared with me over the past 14 months expressions of gratitude for my service. Although I didn’t sign up for this mission to receive thanks, your thoughtful and kind messages along the way often provided the needed lift in my spirit during the most difficult days.
The more formal recognitions that my wife, Peggy, and I received over the last several weeks were completely unexpected and were so moving and emotional for both of us. Peggy and I have simply been overwhelmed by the outpouring of gracious sentiments – from the SGA and other student organizations, both chambers of the General Assembly, the Council on Postsecondary Education, the Alumni Association, the NKU Foundation, and the Northern Kentucky Chamber. Add to that the Board of Regents decision to grant me an Honorary Doctor of Education and the Chase College of Law establishing the Gerry & Peggy St. Amand Endowed Scholarship. Peggy and I are still stunned. We cannot find sufficient words to convey the depth of our gratitude to all of you.
It has been so difficult for me to process the extent of recognition for simply being one person working with all of you. It is we who have accomplished things, not me.
However, to the extent that anyone believes that thanks to me are due, let me suggest a great way to say thanks going forward. That is, enthusiastically welcome and embrace our incoming president, Dr. Ashish Vaidya, and his wife Nita, and provide Dr. Vaidya the same level of support that I was so fortunate to have received. There remain very challenging times ahead that require the entire NKU community to work together in common purpose. Your strong support for Dr. Vaidya is critical to our continuing success as a team and as a university.
I’ve said it before and will say it once again. I am leaving NKU with the confidence that we will continue to maintain the very highest quality academic and other student services and that, without question, NKU’s future remains bright.
I will miss my day-to-day interaction with the people here at NKU, but Peggy and I are ready to spend more time together and with our family. And, although I won’t be commuting daily to work at NKU, we will continue to cheer you on, following and celebrating the many successes to come.
Thanks once again for making our time here, and particularly the last 14 months, so special.
We wish you all professional success and personal happiness.
With Norse pride,
Gerry and Peggy
Gerard A. St. Amand
Northern Kentucky University
800 Lucas Administrative Center
Highland Heights, KY 41099