University of Rochester word mark logo with Meliora shield

Student Thank You Notes

In the spirit of gratitude, these Rochester students took a moment to reflect on what they’re grateful for this year. #URgrateful

Elijah Bader-Gregory ’26

“I’m grateful for the University of Rochester, not just for the impact it has made on my academic and professional career, but for the people I have met here. Friends, faculty, administrators, advisors, and everyone else on campus has had such an impact on the person I am now compared to who I was when I first stepped foot on campus—and I’m extremely grateful for that.”

Elijah Bader-Gregory ’26
Major: Economics and Political Science
Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Timothy Cai ‘26

“My academic and extracurricular success so far would not have been possible without the efforts of the University of Rochester dining hall employees, custodians, and facilities workers, who nourish us and provide us with clean, livable spaces for our ‘home away from home’. Although these hardworking individuals are often the most overlooked part of the University, they are truly essential, enabling us to pursue being ever better in our work as students and faculty members. The transformational experiences inside and outside the classroom are made possible by these staff members’ day-to-day contributions. Every day, I feel beyond grateful for them.”

Timothy Cai ’26
Major: Clinical and Translational Sciences
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Giovanni Correa-Quinones ‘24

“These past three years have been some of the most formative and impactful years of my life, and I am so grateful for the people and experiences that have shaped me into the person I am today. I am particularly grateful for the 2024 Class Council, the Puerto Rican community, and everyone else who has supported me on my college journey. The Class Council has provided me with opportunities to lead and serve and has helped me to develop my leadership skills and confidence. The Latinx community has given me a sense of belonging and support and has helped me connect with my heritage and culture. Everyone who has supported me along the way has made me feel welcomed and valued and helped me to achieve my goals. I am so grateful for the many ways in which the University of Rochester has made me grow and learn. I have challenged myself academically, explored my interests, and made lifelong friendships. I am ready to take on the next chapter in my life, and I know that I am prepared because of the experiences I have had here. MELIORA!”

Giovanni Correa-Quinones ’24
Major: Business – Marketing, Dance Studies
Hometown: Coamo, Puerto Rico

Calista Courtney ‘24

“The University of Rochester offered me an environment for academic and athletic pursuits. The supportive community is what helped me to succeed in accomplishing my dream. Being a part of the university’s soccer program is an extraordinary privilege. The coaches, professors, and the school spirit create an atmosphere that fosters growth as an athlete and individual. The values instilled in the classroom and the field have contributed to my growth, amplifying my experience at the University of Rochester.”

Calista Courtney ’24
Major: Chemical Engineering
Hometown: Berwyn, PA

Will Gantt ‘24

“I’m grateful to have found in URCS (University of Rochester Computer Science) a tremendously collegial and supportive environment in which to pursue a PhD. When I talk to my PhD friends at other institutions, I realize that this is an uncommon experience and I’m very thankful for it.”

Will Gantt ’24
Major: Computer Science
Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Jin Su Han ‘26

“I am grateful to be a student at the University of Rochester because of all the amazing people that I’ve met here. Everyone is always open to help me out and it motivates me to help others. I’ve been very happy and optimistic, and I don’t think I ever felt this way before. I am so grateful for everyone around me and I hope we can keep helping each other until the end.”

Jin Su Han ’26
Major: Biochemistry
Hometown: Guatemala City, Guatemala

Leen Khankan ‘25

“I pondered over what to write about, including the architecture, the opportunities, and the courses but, as I’m sitting here today, I realize that what I’m truly grateful for is the people. I’ve met some incredibly amazing people from all over the globe who have been instrumental in my growth as both a human-being and a student. They’ve supported me through the many difficulties I’ve faced—and believe me when I tell you there have been plenty—but also celebrated the joys of my journey with me. I’m grateful for the opportunity to simply be here and be surrounded by people who I know will change the world in their own way.”

Leen Khankan ’25
Major: Psychology
Hometown: Aleppo, Syria & Milan, Italy

Amanda Lee ‘26

I’m grateful for the ground beneath my feet
The sky above my head
And all the little things we see,
that always go unsaid.”

Amanda Lee ’26
Major: Biology, Studio art
Hometown: Yardley, PA

Tochukwu Iyke-Nzeocha ‘24

“I am grateful for all the connections and resources that the University of Rochester has provided me with, both nationally and internationally. The University of Rochester truly lives up to its reputation of everyone having a unique story, and this has been evident in all the colleagues, faculty, and advisors that I have had the privilege to learn from. When I first started as a freshman, I was unsure about my major choice, but with the support of my advisors and faculty, I have grown into a confident mentor with a clear dream to impact the world of medicine and science. The University has given me the opportunity to participate in various research and internship programs, which have broadened my knowledge and helped me become a well-rounded individual. The MELIORA values that I have learned here will always stay with me, no matter where my future takes me.”

Tochukwu Iyke-Nzeocha ’24
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

Hannah Rickert ‘25

“I’m grateful for all of the people here at the University of Rochester, from the facilities crew, to professors, to my peers, for building the University’s sense of community. I specifically want to express gratitude for all of my club members of Engineers Without Borders and Society of Women Engineers for their contributions to the clubs’ goals, to my teammates on the club field hockey team for creating such a positive atmosphere, my coworkers in both admissions and the TOUR program, and finally, my biomedical engineering (BME) students who come to office hours and labs eager to learn.”

Hannah Rickert ’25
Major: Biomedical Engineering
Hometown: Kennebunk, ME

Annette Sebrell ‘24

“I am grateful for the lifelong connections I have made, the invaluable knowledge I have acquired, the experiences I will never forget, and the resilience I have gained. My time at the University of Rochester has molded me into the person I am today: a person that I am proud to be. Even through COVID-19 and unexpected hardships, I have managed to grow and overcome all of that, experiencing what it truly means to live out ‘Meliora.’”

Annette Sebrell ’24
Major: Biochemistry
Hometown: Manhattan, NY

© University of Rochester 1999-2023