Gratitude is a social emotion … a relationship-strengthening emotion, because it requires us to see how we’ve been supported and affirmed by other people. – Bob Emmons


At the beginning of 2020, I believe I felt gratitude the way many of us do: for my education, for my family, for this community of people who inspire and challenge me in equal measure, and for the support of so many who shape this school with me.

The science tells us that we should make gratitude a daily practice: by keeping a journal, setting reminders, writing notes to others, or ending the day with one grateful thought. The researcher Bob Emmons, who has spent more than a decade exploring the idea of gratitude and the benefits of leading a grateful life, says that “gratitude allows us to celebrate the present.” In these difficult times, I find this to be especially true as we are more aware than ever how quickly things may change. I am grateful for my health and that of my family today. I am thankful we can provide for our students today. I appreciate those who help and protect one another today.

As this difficult year comes to a close, I want to pause and amplify my gratitude for the entire school community and to recognize those who contributed to the 2019-20 Annual Fund. Although it is always meaningful to participate in Riverdale’s philanthropic community, these efforts are often about looking to and preparing for the future. This year, we looked to our community to strengthen and support us immediately. Your contributions allowed us to make important decisions about how to be Riverdale in this new world order and keep students, faculty, and families safe while maintaining the fiscal strength of the school. Your support keeps Riverdale – our institution and our people – healthy. For that I am, and will remain, incredibly grateful.

With thanks,

Dominic A.A. Randolph
Head of School