A Message from Our VP, May 2021

May 4, 2021

Hello Team,

Well, here we are. We’ve made it through one of the most trying years most of us have ever known. But summer is on the horizon, hope is in the air, and the future is as bright as it’s been in a long time.

So, before we gear up for the summer and plan for tomorrow, I want to take a moment to share some thanks.

Thank you for your ingenuity. They say that necessity is the mother of invention and, together, we’ve invented a lot. Countless future students will benefit from these innovations without ever knowing how they came to be. But you’ll know, and I’ll know, and we’ll always have that in common. We’re a team, in the truest sense of the word.

Thank you for your grit. I’ve witnessed hundreds of instances this year of Division of Student Affairs team members facing an unheard-of problem, finding a solution and then doing it all over again the next day. Perhaps most impressive to me is why you work so hard: because you care about each other, about our students, and about the university.

Thank you for your insights. As you probably know, our university is in the midst of strategic planning. We’re reimagining ourselves for what comes next—crafting a modern vision of who we are and what kind of institution we want to become in the decades ahead. As someone who has a deep, personal view into the Longhorn life, your input is critical. So, I want to thank every member of the Division team who answered our staff survey in March and early April. I will make sure that the results of that survey are part of the ongoing strategic planning conversations.

Thank you for caring about yourself, too. Over the summer, please take time to renew, re-energize and reflect. Take walks. Take naps. Take road trips. Take every moment you can to build memories with your friends, family and community. Take joy wherever it resides.

This year has taught me plenty. But chief among the lessons I’ll carry away is a deep and abiding faith in the power of community—that when we truly come together, our power is multiplied and unstoppable. You are part of this community, and I’m honored to work alongside you.

Hook ’em,

Soncia Reagins-Lilly

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students