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University Open House celebrates holidays

Senior Reporter

Published: Thursday, December 6, 2012

Updated: Thursday, December 6, 2012 00:12


George Mattingly | The Houstonian

Students, faculty and staff gather in the LSC ballroom for the university open house.

A festive scene of holiday cheer overtook the Lowman Student Center Ballroom for the annual LSC Holiday Open House on Wednesday.

Poinsettias, boughs of garland, wreaths and a towering Christmas tree adorned the Ballroom as students, faculty and staff filtered throughout getting foods and goodies of the season.

Several said the event was a perfect segue into the holiday break, especially after the mid-eighty degree temperatures that have been keeping feelings of winter away.

“This definitely got me back in the Christmas spirit,” Tanya Crowe, education freshman, said. “The cold weather definitely came at the right time.”

To warm up from the brisk weather, there was steaming coffee, wassail and cider, as well as chilled orange punch for those who were already toasty.

The Sam Houston State University student jazz band and a trombone quartet played songs of the season including “Winter Wonderland.”

“This is a wonderful event,” Jamad Courtney, management information systems junior, said. “I’m ready for Christmas.”

Attendees waited in lines that moved quickly to fill their plates with kolaches, Swedish meatballs, roll-ups, cheeses, crackers and fruit trays were surrounded by scores of holiday desserts: brownies, cookies, muffins and muffin tops, bite-sized pecan pies and a half dozen other tartlets.

Students weren’t the only ones enjoying the merriment.

“This [event] builds community,” Marilyn Butler, Director of the Center for Assessment and Accreditation College of Education, said. “It gives us time to gather together.”

Some gathered with friends and coworkers, others waited to meet Santa Claus.

Old Saint Nick reverted everyone back to their childhoods. Those present were encouraged to have a photo taken with him, and printed copies were available afterward.

Students, faculty and staff alike were excited to see Sammy when he showed up wearing a Santa suit and hat.

The first all-inclusive SHSU holiday open house was in 1964. Before the tradition, students were the Rudolphs of campus – they weren’t included in the holiday open houses.

“There used to be several different holiday open houses around the university for faculty and staff,” Director of the LSC Dan McDaniel said. “They never invited students. There was an open house and students were invited. From then on, the president decided to make it to where the University just had one big holiday open house where everyone is welcome.”

The Lowman Student Center is for the students; they pay for it in fees.” McDaniel said. “We’re here to support [them].”

Aramark/SH Dining Services and the Barnes & Noble University Bookstore sponsored the event.


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