Mingle with Marcy

Marsal P. Stoll, EdD

Chief Executive Officer

March 30, 2021

The theme for this edition of Bridges is “appreciation.” The word “appreciation” prompts me to link it with the word “heartfelt.” I am uncertain why, but my inner voice says that these two words go together. I wondered if and how others link these two words, and I found many expressions when browsing the Internet; some of which are below.

  • Magnificent! You are a lifesaver!
  • I am humbled and appreciative of all that you did on our behalf.
  • I am wearing the smile you gave me.
  • TYFBA! (Thank you for being Awesome!)
  • Please accept my vehement protestations of gratitude.
  • I am so grateful for your thoughtfulness.

John F. Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” President Kennedy shared this wisdom on November 5, 1963 in his Proclamation 3560. This was President Kennedy’s last Thanksgiving proclamation. During my lifetime, I have witnessed many moments of discontent and crisis; however, the last couple of years have been very different than those other times. My core was shaken many times and to stay balanced, I returned time and time again to my personal and professional foundational cornerstones—fairness, moral courage, decency, and reasonableness. These foundational cornerstones are my stabilizing anchors during the moments when I have doubts.

And you, your colleagues, the students, ACEN peer evaluators, and our profession were the most important stabilizing anchors that gave me the reason to only look forward and believe tomorrow will be better. I know the ACEN has a sphere of influence, and I believe it is my duty to do everything within that sphere to practice compassion with each other, to be the role model for each other, and to convey the golden-rule message: “treat people the way you want to be treated.” I promise you I will work every day to deliver on these values and the ACEN mission of supporting the interests of nursing education, nursing practice, and the public by the functions of accreditation. The ACEN will remain your supportive partner regardless of any obstacle that emerges.

All of you have been on the frontlines of this pandemic from the beginning, and the vaccination efforts underway that many of you are involved with in your communities provides hope of returning to some version of pre-pandemic daily life. Thank you for everything you have done and are doing. The last year was not easy for any of you, yet your grace and professionalism throughout continues to be inspiring and the exemplar for everyone.

With our highest gratitude and appreciation – we are so grateful for you,