As Thanksgiving approaches, students, faculty and staff are longing for the upcoming five-day break. Many will be heading home locally, but some students have long drives ahead of them to see their loved ones.
Senior business administration major Donnel Williams will be joining his family in San Diego for Thanksgiving dinner.
This year, Williams is thankful for family and is looking forward to seeing his five sisters. “I haven’t seen my family in a couple of months,” Williams said.
Senior social science major John Ausman and freshman Gus Cortez will drive 12 hours to Oregon for “Civil War,” the rivalry football game between the Oregon State Beavers and Oregon Ducks. “It’s going to be fun,” Ausman said. “Everyone’s going to go crazy.”
Ausman and Cortez will leave Thanksgiving night after eating dinner with friends in Davenport. Ausman cannot wait to “eat as much food as possible” over the break.
On Saturday, the International Study Abroad Center and International Student Organization will hold a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner at 5 p.m. in the President’s Dining Room for students who will remain on campus. Nearly 60 international students are expected to attend and learn about the traditions and history of the holiday.
Lucie Leung, a sophomore biology major from Ecuador, is excited about her second Thanksgiving dinner at ULV.
“It’s nice to have everyone together and to give thanks,” Leung said. “It’s good to learn about Thanksgiving.”
Leung said she looks forward to enjoying an American experience and is thankful for her parents as well as new friends she has met at ULV.
“Many of our students come from cultures that are very rich in tradition and have deep roots,” Debbie Yang, international center adviser, said. “America is a young country with a limited history; it is significant to share this holiday.”
Yang believes it is important for students to learn about celebrating the bounty of harvest and gratitude for gifts one receives; the most important of these gifts being food, shelter and friendship.
“I am happy to share this holiday with international students,” Yang said. “Thanksgiving embodies the spirit of America.”
Yang will be celebrating Thanksgiving and hosting dinner at her San Dimas home with two turkeys and a ham.
“This year, I’m thankful for the same things most people are – family and friends,” Yang said. “But I’m also grateful for the stability the country does have in this time of turmoil and anxiety. I am thankful for the faith and hope that everything will work out.”
“Thanksgiving is just family joining together to enjoy family,” Stephen Morgan, ULV president, said. “The four-day weekend is our last chance to take a breath before the big holiday. There’s nothing complicated about Thanksgiving,” Morgan said.
He will be spending Thanksgiving at his brother’s home in Manhattan Beach.
He will be joined by four generations of his “relatively small family.” Morgan is happy to be having turkey and cranberry sauce but is anticipating a slice of pumpkin pie with a large scoop of whipped cream.
“The only reason I eat the pie is so I can have the whipped cream,” Morgan said.
The University president said he is thankful for being alive and for being able to participate in the holiday by being willing and able to make the world a better place. “Whether it is with a smile or something bigger, we each can doing something to make this a better world,” Morgan said.
Morgan said he believes Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to relax before Christmas. He hopes everyone takes advantage of the short break.
“I hope everyone within our community has the opportunity to be with family and takes the time to enjoy each other,” Morgan said.
Victoria Farlow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.