Alumni News

Giving Thanks

by Jessiah Hulle - University Communications | Dec 05, 2016
Thanksgiving 2016
Sodexo and the University of Valley Forge (UVF) presented this year’s annual Thanksgiving meal in the campus dining commons on Nov. 21, 2016. The Thanksgiving meal is a beloved tradition at Valley Forge, a time when Sodexo and the UVF President's Cabinet exemplify their dedication to the student body with a delicious presentation of a full Thanksgiving meal.
 
Even better than the delicious variety of food, however, was the time of camaraderie that accompanied the Thanksgiving feast. Junior Samm Restituto remarked, “It’s a great time of fellowship and holiday spirit … it brings people out who don’t normally come to the dining commons.” Students reminisced on past Thanksgivings as they looked forward to the 2016 holiday season, using the time to share personal stories and cultural traditions of their respective families.
 
The meal drew out more than just students. Numerous faculty members also joined, sitting with students and conversing over second helpings. At one table, education professors Dr. Marianne Modica and Dr. A. Glenn McClure sat with a variety of education and church ministries students, discussing fond memories of quirky family members and holiday mishaps of bygone Thanksgivings. One student sitting at the table, junior Brian Knorr, said of his discussion with Modica and McClure, “My favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal is the opportunity that is provided to sit down with faculty and get to know them on a personal level.”
 
Notable also is the yearly tradition of members of the President's Cabinet carving and serving the main courses of turkey and ham. This Thanksgiving, Vice President of Finance Jonathan Capeci, Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Kevin Beery, Vice President of Student Life Rev. Jennifer Gale and Executive Vice President Dr. Dan Mortensen served both turkey and ham with a smile and a friendly hello. Beery said of his role carving and serving the ham, “I love to serve people in general, but I especially love to serve them on Thanksgiving. I like to greet students whose names I know and I am always surprised that I see students that I have not yet met.” 
 
Gale offered a similar sentiment as she greeted a new throng of students entering after their classes ended. For many of them, this meal would be their last before returning home for Thanksgiving break, and one of only a few remaining meals before Christmas break. She motioned her arms around the room at all the students, faculty and staff engaged in animated conversation and remarked, “Not only is the food great, but everybody is excited because the holidays are coming up. It’s just a fun, festive atmosphere to enjoy together.” As Gale talked with students in line for turkey, she laughed and repeated a phrase that could be heard throughout the day by students and faculty alike: “It’s the best meal of the year!”