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President Holland’s Holiday Greeting

20 December 2011 One Comment

Matthew S. Holland, president of Utah Valley University

Dear UVU Students, Faculty and Staff,

As the end of the year approaches, I want to extend to you a warm holiday greeting and express my joy at having completed yet another wonderful year at Utah Valley University with all of you. We enjoyed tremendous growth and accomplishment in 2011, and I’m excited to see what awaits our institution in 2012.

In the meantime, it is my sincere hope that you spend this special time of year enjoying your favorite traditions with beloved friends and family. Above all, please keep yourself and your loved ones out of harm’s way throughout your holiday travels and diversions. I invite you to revisit last month’s safety message for some important travel tips from UVU Police. Please come back to us safe and sound for the start of what promises to be another remarkable year at UVU.

Happy holidays,

— Matthew S. Holland

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One Comment »

  • roger said:

    Thanks for the seemingly secular holiday greetings. Now if only all aspects of my school experience could be void of religious favoritism. As an atheist – you read that right, and I’m not some horrendous person with no regard for human morals – and a culinary arts student, A good grade requires that I attend certain UVU events catered by the Culinary Arts Institute, and more than once, especially with the many Christmas events we recently handled, I found myself hushed by other students or intructors as a prayer to a god I don’t believe is being given as a blessing on the food. I have manners; I don’t try to talk over the praying person nor do I express my incredulaty to the devout guests, and I get that people’s beliefs bring them some kind of comfort in life. Believe it or not, my disbelief and pragmatic rationalism brings me meaning and often comfort in my life. They have that right to practice what I consider nonsense. And I get that this state is extremely religious and always has been. The majority of readers may come down on me with comments of their own rights and freedoms. They have the right to believe and practice what I consider nonsense. The constitution has given them that right. I just didn’t expect to find myself at a state-funded institution, and as a student who has to be at these events to earn a grade, constantly hearing invocations to an imaginary being. While in that situation I practice my right not to believe the prayer was heard by anyone outside the room, and I practice my right not to bow my head, not to close my eyes, not to fold my arms, and not to say Amen. But should the disapproving looks and the social pressure to bow my head in “respect” and thus appear to condone the practice of religion at my school be there in the first place?

    I hope you all had and continue to have a happy holiday, and hope my little rant, inspired by the president’s “Happy Holidays” greeting, was close enough to the topic at hand.

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