||Holiday memories at Centre
Centre faculty and staff share some of their favorite holiday moments
RELEASED: December 20, 2001
DANVILLE, KYWith the holiday season upon us, some members of Centres faculty and staff took time out to share some of their favorite memories of years past.
John Ward, vice president and dean of academic affairs and professor of English
"At the urging of faculty colleagues, particularly those who went to Centre like Clarence Wyatt, Stephanie Dew, and Liz Perkins Professor Barbara Hall and I revived the ancient and honorable tradition of caroling to the students during exam period. Year after year, rain or snow, chill or balmy, faculty and staff gather at the dean's house, get hymn books, music sheets, and directions from Maestro Hall, and head off into the night.
Sometimes the residence halls are ominously silent, and dark, no one apparently listening, and then all of a sudden, faces appear at windows and doors thanking us for interrupting a night of study. The singers are not all pure musicians, but the sound is good and every year someone dons a Santa hat to give the right silly look; faculty kids now tag along, or run ahead like dogs on a trail, leading the choir to the next stop.
The best music always comes in the Breckinridge Hall stairwell, where the group, 12 or 40, enjoys the resonance of that closed space. By then, almost at the end of the tour, the chorus is well warmed up and the hymns are familiar again.
The last stop is the library, where its director Stan Campbell and the library staff endure with good grace the noisy intrusions of academics making a racket in the normally quiet space. "Silent Night" ends the evening's performances, and then its on to the dean's house for a winter buffet: Amish pepper ham, cider and fruitcake. This Centre holiday tradition rewards faculty and students alike all enjoy an extracurricular gift: music, applause, and a welcome break from the stresses of exam period."
Jennifer Howard, associate director of alumni (2000 Centre graduate)
"My favorite memory from the holiday season at Centre occurred my sophomore year. It was the first year for the Helping Hands project presented by the Student Activities Council. We created the project with the hopes that we could provide local children with toys from their wish list and a hat and gloves. We didnt want to just give them gifts; we also wanted to provide them with a special memory of a party on campus and a visit from Santa (played by Centre professor Milton Reigelman). We were so pleased with the generous support from students and the Danville community in both time and money. We had a ball shopping for toys and clothes at K-Mart for the 25 children who were going to attend the party.
On the day of the party the hard work was rewarded when we saw the children lying on the floor next to big football players coloring Santa faces and playing musical chairs and making crafts with a variety of Centre students. However, the most memorable part of the day was seeing the children's eyes light up when Santa came bounding into the room to deliver the presents. They each got a chance to sit on Santa's lap, and they all sang carols with the jolly old man.
After the party we received many thank you notes from the children for inviting them to the party and giving them a visit with Santa. If they had only known that they were the ones that deserved thanks for making us remember what the holidays are all about!"
Mona Wyatt, director of donor relations and parent programs
"One particular memory comes to mind. The first year I was here, Dec. '79, the faculty and staff sang carols from the front steps of Old Centre for the students. Since Clarence (Centre professor Clarence Wyatt) and I had just gotten engaged, they asked us to act out the part of the "two turtle doves" in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" which wasn't difficult for us to do! That was a lot of fun.
That same winter we had our first Christmas party in the Alumni House which had no furniture in it. The College had just bought the house and we moved in that January but Clarence and I were on our honeymoon so we missed the moving part."
Jason Scott Embry, director of campaign giving
"Centre College is noted for doing many great things for our students, for the Danville community, and for the greater good of our Commonwealth and our country. Not only do we as a College do many great things, we do those things well. For instance, Centre initiates the holiday season with its Festival of Lessons and Carols at the Presbyterian Church of Danville. This wonderful event gives us a time for reflection and hope for the future. Most importantly, the service provides an opportunity to slow our pace and see the real reason for celebrating Christmas the birth of Jesus Christ. With this in mind, the Festival of Lessons and Carols truly is a highlight of the year and my time at Centre."
Jessica Coleman, director of alumni giving (1997 Centre graduate)
"At Kappa Kristmas, a party held in late November, people would flock to the event to get a handful of Gail Hayes Wagner's ('95) famous bourbon balls. To this date, I have never tasted any better."
Ann Young, director of student life and housing
"I really think the most memorable recollection for me is how the students rally around the requests to adopt angels for the Salvation Army, ring the bell, get or make gifts for those in the area nursing homes who no longer have families in the area, and their true willingness to give to complete strangers in their adopted home community."
- end -
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422
Public Information Coordinator: Telephone 859-238-5714
Back to News and Events Home Page