BVU Celebrates the Holiday Season at All-Campus Christmas Dinner

BVU Celebrates the Holiday Season at All-Campus Christmas Dinner

On Dec. 5, the Buena Vista University community gathered together for the 27th Annual All-Campus Christmas Dinner, where students are served a holiday meal by the University faculty, staff and administration.

This year, 728 students attended the event, many dressed up in their holiday best, with others wearing Santa hats and a variety of Christmas and holiday sweaters, including a Hanukkah sweater.

The evening began with opening remarks from Caitlin Hoffman, president of Student Senate; Fred Moore, president of the University; and Kirsten Van Zuiden, vice president of Student Senate who told the history of the Christmas Dinner tradition. The event was started by a campus ministries organization known as “People for People” and has grown from a small gathering to now involve the majority of the Buena Vista University student population.

The lighting of the two Christmas trees was performed by Drew, Claire, Hannah and Carson Taylor, children of Andy and Jarita Taylor, and the Vista Singers and Concert Choir performed vocal selections under the direction of Dr. Merrin Guice-Mendel. The students then joined the choir in singing the Christmas carols “Joy to the World” and “Deck the Halls”, followed by the BVU Fight Song.

A gift of art by the late Mac Hornecker was presented to the University by the chairs of Untitled 11: Art League, followed by the invocation by Ken Meissner, BVU chaplain.

Dinner was served by 83 members of the faculty, staff and administration who kept drink glasses and baskets of rolls filled, delivered plates of food and cleared away the dishes.

The evening offered a festive environment for the students and those serving the meal, with laughter and a variety of conversations taking place during the meal of roast turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing and corn.

“This is a one-of-a-kind event. I don’t know of any other college or university that offers anything like this,” said Teresa Stuhr, catering manager for Sodexo. “I love this event. There is a lot of work involved, but it is worth it. I get excited for it every year. It’s a great way for all of us to begin celebrating the Christmas season.”