In Thanks of Your Generous Holiday Spirit

Dear Scarlet Knights:

It was such a thrill to spend Saturday with so many of you who participated in the 15th edition of the Big Chill. The 5K run for charity generated nearly 6,000 toys that will be donated to children this holiday season; the total value of the toys and money raised exceeded $160,000. It was a remarkable display of the generous spirit that has made the Big Chill an iconic Rutgers event. I am immensely grateful to the more than 7,000 in our community who participated and to Rutgers Recreation for organizing it.  

On Saturday, we had a very special guest—our Governor-elect Phil Murphy, who attended with his wife and daughter. He saw the very best—the indomitable Rutgers spirit—that we have to offer New Jersey and he told me how impressed he was with our commitment to the public good. As the Governor-elect said in his remarks before the race, running together is far better than running alone, and we showed a tremendous sense of community in a sea of Scarlet. I know that I finished the 5K only because I got tremendous energy from the hundreds of you who ran alongside (and much faster than) me.

Every long run, whether a 5K or a semester, requires and builds character and grit. It’s not a rush to the finish line or placement that matters—finishing the run at your best pace and giving it your best shot is what matters. That’s what matters in life, too. As this semester (and my first) comes to close, I want to share with you what Big Chill teaches us: generosity and determination go a long way toward defining who we are and deciding what we do in life.

I wish you all the best as you close out this semester and good luck with finals.

Go, Rutgers!

Deba Dutta, Chancellor
Rutgers University–New Brunswick


Chancellor Dutta at the Big Chill event