When was the last time you saw a university president in an apron? Students at Susquehanna have the pleasure of seeing President L. Jay Lemons don food-service attire on the occasion of celebrating Thanksgiving Dinner in Evert Dining Room. In fact, some lucky students even find themselves with President Lemons as their table’s appointed turkey carver.
The days on campus leading up to Thanksgiving are filled with anticipation. Two students are posted outside of Evert Dining Room with a dry-erase map of the cafeteria interior as the small groups of friends claim their tables for the sit-down meal. On the Thursday before Thanksgiving, students don suit jackets, pressed khakis and dresses, and assemble for an amazing meal. There will be a tasty feast with turkey and all the fixings, but what really makes it special is that this fine cuisine will be served by faculty and staff.
But it’s not just the students who dress up for this occasion. Evert Dining Room is normally a well-oiled machine: students pass from station to station, collecting their wares in the times they’ve siphoned off between classes, quick and efficient. But for Thanksgiving Dinner, students come prepared to linger at the tables blanketed in white linens, with silverware arranged on pressed napkins and clear glasses filled with sparkling juice ready to be raised for an opening toast. Students are grateful for the elegant pause during such a hectic time of year.
For many students, the evening provides just what they need. Students whet their appetites with a holiday meal just before the culinary encore that will come in just seven short days when they head for home. It’s also a night to relax and recharge before pressing on in the looming homestretch of papers, projects and final exams.
Since 1981, this Susquehanna tradition has embodied the way the campus community is a family, by demonstrating the care and regard faculty have for students. Memories that students make on this special day last a lifetime. Thanksgiving dinner at Susquehanna, served by faculty and staff, is a quintessential moment of the Susquehanna student experience.
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