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Gratitude Day


Dec. 1, 2022 — Hundreds of pink, yellow, purple, green, and white sticky notes adorn three large wooden letters — N, M, and H — measuring 4 feet tall by 13 feet wide and painted dark blue.

Sticky notes of gratitude

On the sticky notes are more than 500 messages written using colorful magic markers by NMH students, faculty, and staff. 

Their messages speak of the inclusive NMH community, caring faculty, supportive coaches and advisors, and nourishing food from Alumni Hall, as well as gratitude for friends and family — and pets! 

“I am grateful for how supportive all my teachers are.”

“My students are so lovely! All of them!”

“Grateful for my rockstar colleagues.”

“Thankful for my ancestors, my culture, and my people.”

“My cat.”

“Chili!”

Notes of gratitude on big NMH letters.

On Nov. 15, NMH celebrated Gratitude Day by giving members of the school community the opportunity to share their messages of gratitude and thanks during lunch in Alumni Hall. 

That day, 403 students and 135 employees stopped by the Wilson Room to write and stick their notes on the giant letters — built by NMH Plant and Property staff — that stood in front of the windows overlooking campus. 

NMH’s event was a way to mark National Philanthropy Day, which signifies the importance of working together for the common good, and kicked off a season of sharing gratitude. 

“People really got into it,” Lydia Perry Weis ’80, P ’21, associate director of the NMH Fund, said. “For some, there was hesitation at first. They then sat, thought, and came up with ideas. 

“The messages were both broad and specific,” Weis continued. “There were recurring themes, and some outliers. They were heartfelt and thoughtful. Some were playful. It put smiles on faces. Participants were then in a mood of expressing gratitude and showed that with others.”

Some notes share gratitude for the adults on campus whom students rely on.

“Thank you for such an inclusive and supportive environment. I feel at home even when I’m a thousand miles away.”

“I am grateful for my advisor, my dance teachers, my friends, the art department, the dining hall staff, plant and property, and my teachers.”

Family, friends, and students were thanked and appreciated.

“I’m grateful for my mom and my best friends at NMH for always having my back.”

“The friends I made through my classes at NMH.”

“My brilliant students.”

Food was a recurring theme — the messages held lots of love for NMH food, the school farm, and dining services staff.

“Yummy food right out of the ground at [the] NMH farm.”

“I’m so grateful for the dining services folks who are friendly and do a ton of work to feed us healthy meals.”

Gratitude was shared for “teammates” and “my roommate” and “sports” and “my friends.” In some cases, specific staff members, teachers, or students were thanked by name. Other notes expressed gratitude for “the NMH post office” and “custodial staff.” 

Some included drawings — of the Gilder Center, a house, hearts, trees, music notes, and people.

A few of the messages were very specific.

“I am grateful for feminism, oxygen, cats, and therapy.”

“The lady who said my name right.”

“I am thankful for my dogs.”

A student writes a message of gratitude on Gratitude Day.

“I’m so grateful for having amazingly kind, caring, talented, and loving parents, for having an annoying but loving brother, for having the privilege to study here and [to] improve as both a human, friend, and a student, and for having great friends.”

“The messages of thanks and appreciation remain a sincere and a wonderful representation of our NMH community,” Trish Jackson, NMH’s chief advancement officer, said. “We look forward to sharing more of the notes throughout this season of gratitude.” See more photos of Gratitude Day.

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