Inspired By Our Students: What Are You Grateful For?


Covered with maize and blue Post-It notes and towering 10 feet high in the Winter Garden — it is hard not to notice the large gratitude wall our students erected in the common area of our main building this week. And it was impossible not to be inspired by it as I walked past several times in the last few days.

On the wall, students are asked to share “thanks for a person, idea, or thing that they appreciate.”

When I looked at the wall, students’ gratitudes ranged from “Friends, Family, and the opportunities I’m being exposed to” to “Pumpkin crumble bread” and “Professors who asked if I was OK.” The wall hosts a wide range of appreciations — and from the big things to the little things, it’s a strong reminder that we’re surrounded by so much to be thankful for.

So, what’s the point? Well, we know from the research of Michigan Ross faculty and our Center for Positive Organizations that expressions of gratitude have a wide array of positive effects on our well-being, work performance, relationships, and much more.

These are the proven benefits of gratitude, by Professor Kim Cameron:
  • A more positive mood
  • Better sleep patterns
  • Decreased headaches and colds
  • Improved cognitive functioning
  • Higher states of alertness and energy
  • Improved sense of being connected to others

The Gratitude Wall is a powerful forum that I encourage you to contribute to and support. In this spirit, here are a few things I am grateful for each and every day:

I’m grateful for our incredible students who inspire us to be better every day. You are my inspiration!

I’m grateful for the creativity and commitment to excellence of our faculty and staff. It is a privilege to serve with you.

I’m grateful for our passionate alumni, who give their time and money to make the Ross experience possible. You fuel our aspirations for excellence.

And I’m grateful for the privilege to contribute to what I believe is the best and most impactful business school in the world.

I added these four Post-Its to the Gratitude Wall today. Please add yours (either to the wall directly, or below in the comments), and together we will build a culture of gratitude and appreciation at Ross.


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