Dear Students,

A couple of weeks ago, one of my daughters saw the baseball playoffs on TV and said, “I wonder what it would be like to still care about baseball in October?” As a lifelong Cubs fan, that’s not a question I’m equipped to answer. So instead, I’m focusing on the things I really do care about at this time of year — and I wanted to send a short note just to express my pride in you as CSU students and all you do for this community.

Marching Band

This is something that strikes me throughout the fall — at every major CSU event — when I have the chance to see our Marching Band perform. These students work incredibly hard and put on a great show, at every football game and countless other events throughout the semester, no matter the weather. (Anyone who’s ever tried to play the Fight Song on an ice-cold trumpet in a rain storm will understand what I mean here.) These students show up, they consistently do a fantastic job, and I can’t emphasize enough how important they are to our campus community.

Diversity, our greatest strength, can also be a challenge

I had this same sense of pride in our students again a couple of weeks ago, when I saw the thoughtful display on campus honoring GLBTQ History Month. The display generated considerable discussion and debate on Facebook and elsewhere — the type of dialogue that comes with being part of a college community. All in all, it was an important reminder that our community is made up of thousands of people with different viewpoints, experiences, and identities. As I stated in a message to campus last spring, “…diversity is our greatest strength as a university, and it can also be a challenge. Living and working together in a collegial, peaceful environment requires that we commit the respect, understanding, and effort to understand each other’s experiences and perspectives.” While we may not always agree, we strive always as an academic community to affirm the dignity of all individuals and ensure a safe, healthy and welcoming environment in which to learn from one another.

Cans Around the Oval

Then last Wednesday, I joined with hundreds of you in celebrating Cans Around the Oval, our annual canned food drive that so far has raised more than 202,000 pounds (in food and cash donations) to assist the Food Bank of Larimer County. In my private life, I’ve been involved with the Food Bank board for many years, and I know how much they depend on Cans Around the Oval to feed hungry families in our community over the tough winter months. It’s the largest single canned food drive in Northern Colorado and an annual reminder of how much we can accomplish when we work together in support of an important cause

The spirit of community underlying these and so many other student activities is part of what we all value about CSU — and it’s kept alive by you, our students, who commit your time to lead, create, and serve.

Friends or fellow students who may be in distress and need help

In that same spirit, I want to recognize that we’re heading into the last half of the semester. This is a time when we typically see an increase in the number of students coping with issues related to academic and personal stress and anxiety. If you have concerns that any of your friends or fellow students may be in distress and needing help, we’ve set up a website — “Tell Someone” at — that allows you to share your concerns in confidence with people who may be able to help. As we head into our last several weeks of fall and get closer to the holidays, I ask that you look out for yourselves and each other and do your best to stay rested, safe, and healthy.

That’s it for now — enjoy the coming weekend and have a safe and enjoyable Halloween. Just remember — absolutely NOTHING scares a Cubs fan like a Steve Bartman costume…. Be well,


Dr. Tony Frank