Community gives thanks and celebrates season

The Wilson community gathered together for the college’s traditional Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 21. Preparations began the day before with dining hall decorations and SAGE dining services with the turkey basting. Director of Dining Services, Tim Dawe, explained the coordination and planning behind the scenes of the wonderful dinner.

“SAGE has prepared the Thanksgiving Dinner at Wilson College for 9 years now. The biggest challenge is always the oven space. We prepare […]
44 turkeys each year, and a ton of side dishes all served family style. We have three convection ovens which we cook the turkeys in, two of which fit 8 turkeys, and the other fits 12,” he said.

The tradition of the dinner dates beyond the recorded Thanksgiving dinner in 1887. Our beloved college has held this tradition with full spirit and resonance throughout the ages. Stephanie Laurent ’17 said, “I think it is a wonderful tradition! I loved the feeling of “togetherness!” And the food was very delicious and homemade!”

The tradition is greeted with happiness and thanks-giving.

President Mistick along with trustee and graduate Dorothy Van Brakle ’09 sat beneath the watchful portrait of Sarah Wilson. Mistick, Van Brakle and the Wilson community came together for a feast of turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, sweet potato casserole and for those of legal drinking age, a glass of wine.

Patrick Fox ’16 said, “I thought that the Thanksgiving dinner was a great way to bring together the faculty and staff with the students and I think that it’s a fantastic tradition for that same reason. Community is a crucial component to the college setting and traditions like Thanksgiving dinner are very good at bringing everyone together.”

As the dinner progressed, class song wars and college melodies echoed with full spirit and joy throughout the hall. Director of Alumnae/i Relations MaryBeth Famulare said, “”Opportunities to gather as a campus community are vital to Wilson Traditions.  I love to hear the chatter, the laughter and the ever present song wars.”

The college’s Thanksgiving dinner is a favorite tradition for Assistant to the VP of Institutional Advancement Linda Raimo.

“It’s a lovely gathering of students, faculty and staff in a mood of festivity.  It’s the one time during the year when Jensen Hall lights seem brighter by the energy and spirit of sharing, laughing and good eats!” she said.

This year, Wilson’s Thanksgiving dinner had almost 340 people in attendance. Dawe, pleased with the familial atmosphere of the dinner, oversaw the smooth running service to each table, all in fewer than 12 minutes.

“SAGE, and especially our staff here at the college, enjoys these types of events the most where it’s all about the community feeling and a sense of involvement with each other. Even though we don’t get to sit and eat with everyone, just being able to talk and enjoy everyone from campus’ company while we work is a really fantastic thing,” he said.

There were leftovers aplenty.  SAGE donated plastic bags and foil to encourage diners to take leftovers home. Everyone left happy and full of thanks and good food.

Vicky Alterio ’14 said, “I really liked that it was a family style dinner where you sit with your friends who have become more like family. You get the joy of carving a turkey and breaking off the wishbone with a friend. I’ve noticed, especially this year, that there are more faculty and staff present than years past. The whole atmosphere of the night was relaxing.  CAB did an awesome job decorating and turning the dining hall into a lovely evening.”

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