Thanksgiving greetings from Chris Clifford

Thanksgiving is by far one of my most favorite holidays – how could it not be!   It is a time to take a deep breath and appreciate all of the blessings in our lives, surrounded by family, and all while enjoying amazing food and of course football.  

This year I have so much to be thankful for –  I am excited to be moving to Alpine in January when I will begin serving as the new Vice President for Budget and Finance for Sul Ross.  Sul Ross is such an impactful university and changes so many lives for the better.  I’m thrilled to be a new part of that tradition.   I’ve already made several trips to Alpine and visited the three campuses of SRSU Rio Grande College, and have found the Sul Ross community to be the warmest, most welcoming I’ve ever experienced.  

I look forward to bringing to Sul Ross my experience from both the private sector with ExxonMobil and from several large universities (Mississippi State University, Ohio University and most recently the University of Alabama at Birmingham).  The financial landscape for higher education requires that we always look for ways to be more effective managers of our resources, be as efficient as possible, while also looking for ways to help grow our institution through new programs and opportunities.   We must do these things while never forgetting the reason we are here – to help our students at Sul Ross get the best education possible and prepare them for the future.  

In my family, we have two Thanksgiving traditions I especially look forward to –we always go for a hike in the mountains (ok more like hills) of Birmingham after our thanksgiving dinner.   Hiking burns off those calories from that extra slice of pumpkin pie and also gives me time to visit with my sister, brother and mother who all live in Mississippi.   After that, we always watch the annual Thanksgiving Day football game between my alma mater Mississippi State University and our rivals Ole Miss.   I look forward to thanksgiving next year in Alpine when we can add new traditions to our celebration (such as sopapilla cheesecake!) and take our traditional hike in one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, Big Bend National Park.  

Chris Clifford

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