From the Editor’s Desk: On Recognizing Gratitude

Voicing gratitude is one of the best ways, I believe, to give a burnt-out soul some aloe — both for the speaker and the receiver.

If you’re not in need of an existential massage right now, skip this and continue onto the next nine pages. This special edition shares 17 stories of those who make others’ lives better at North Dakota State. You’ll probably recognize a face or two, and that’d be nice by itself.

You may hurt, though. I sure do. Headlines coming out of newsrooms haven’t been rosy lately: “Legislature Might Slash More Than 25 Percent of NDSU’s Budget This Biennium;” “National Unrest Over Securing Borders and Fighting Terrorism Leave Millions in Disarray;” “Scientists Move Doomsday Clock as Close as It’s Been in 64 years to Striking Midnight” — i.e., the Apocalypse.


How do we respond to such despondent news? Perhaps by saying thank you. We may not save the world by solely offering gratitude, but it’s a start.

Much like “Time 100,” our staff wished to recognize the most influential, albeit on a much smaller scale. The Spectrum’s 17 of 2017 distinguishes our university’s students, faculty and staff, as recognized by our readers. A grandiose idea if we’ve ever had one, we asked campus to fill this edition with the best NDSU has to offer. You delivered.

Nominators who participated in The Spectrum’s 17 of 17 gushed thousands of words about who they thought deserving of recognition. In their submissions, nominators told stories of inspiration. They offered thanks for thankless service. They were, in a word, grateful.

Despite everything, nominators took time to express gratefulness.

From the nominee pool, the editors and I selected our 17. By no means are we qualified to act as such gatekeepers (honestly, who is?), but while not comprehensive, this special edition is complete. For in these nine pages, not only will you find students, faculty and staff — you’ll find humanity.

A funny thing happens when you tell someone you appreciate them; they’re reminded they matter. And that matters.

He didn’t tweet this, but President John F. Kennedy once said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

I hope this list can act as a catalyst. I hope it reminds you there’s goodness out there, everywhere. In the labs, dining halls and dorm rooms.

And such goodness deserves recognition.

Editor’s note: We have decided to keep nominators anonymous, for appreciation is best left without ownership. Follow the link to view the slideshow.

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