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Thanksgiving on the Hill


In the week preceding Thanksgiving, Hamilton community members gathered to celebrate the holiday together before the College’s week-long break.

The Chaplaincy sponsored a Multicultural Interfaith Thanksgiving on Nov. 16.  Chaplain Jeff McArn reports that 30 students plus three faculty and staff members enjoyed the 20-year-old tradition.   “We sat around a large table in the Eells Dining Room and played a round of Interfaith Trivia and introduced various traditions of Thanksgiving,” McArn recalled.  The event was especially interesting to international students who had varied relationships with the American holiday.

Foods (traditional for Thanksgiving, and otherwise) were prepared by various students and staff. The event was planned by Senior Chapel Fellow Jennie Wilber ’17 and the All Beliefs Union student organization.

International students and others who are unable to make it home for the holiday are able to celebrate Thanksgiving nonetheless.   Dean of Students Nancy Thompson is among Hamilton staff and faculty who welcome students into their homes for the holiday. Growing up we always had additional people around our table and it was great. It's just fun to have an eclectic group around the table,” she said. “I’ve always done the traditional dinner, but this year, I’m making a Zimbabwean pineapple dessert in honor of the student coming to dinner, Thompson added. 

Professor of Economics Steve Wu has hosted students for Thanksgiving for many years, with anywhere from one to eight students at any one time.  “Growing up, my parents always invited international students from local colleges to join our family for Thanksgiving, so that made an impression on me,” Wu recalled.  “When I became a faculty member, I wanted to continue this tradition…  I know that holidays can be lonely for students that are far from family, so I like to invite them to join... and my kids have always loved hanging out and playing games with the students,” he said.

Another popular annual event on campus was Co-Op’s Thanksgiving on Nov. 13.  Students enter a lottery to win the chance to participate in the dinner held at Woollcott House.  Food preparation began on the evening of Nov. 10 and continued all weekend until the event itself.  

Here are a few Hamilton Thanksgiving moments shared on Twitter:

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