6 Colleges with Fun Thanksgiving Traditions

By IvyWise on Monday, November 25, 2019

AdobeStock_297084080Celebrate Thanksgiving on Campus

For many students, a college campus is more than a setting for higher education and learning; it becomes a second home. In order to instill this sense of community from the start, many top colleges celebrate holidays, including Thanksgiving, in a huge way.

From festive feasts to an on-campus run, the traditions are as diverse as the universities that offer them. Keep reading to learn more about the institutions that celebrate this national holiday in their own unique way.

Lehigh University
For over 50 years, this highly rated Pennsylvania university has hosted a run in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday. Everyone on campus has a chance to join in and sneak some physical activity into their day. Hundreds of students participate on a yearly basis as a way to build community, see friends along the course, and celebrate the holiday with their peers.

Ohio State University
For students who are more interested in feasting, Ohio State University’s massive Thanksgiving dinner may be a more tempting option. Every year, the campus hosts its own holiday meal, complete with more than 100 pounds of turkey, 400 hundred pounds of green beans, and 180 different pies. As many as 2,000 guests have joined in for this annual feast which typically occurs on Thanksgiving Day.

Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon takes advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday and turns it into an opportunity for students to learn more about their peers and their backgrounds during an annual Spirituality Dinner. During this event, students come together to reflect and discuss the different faiths and traditions celebrated on campus. All of this takes place over a festive dinner during which students are encouraged to share their holiday experiences while connecting with new friends.

Smith College
At Smith College, every student is treated like part of a family. To embody that, the college ensures that every student has somewhere to go during Thanksgiving, including those who come from abroad. During Smith’s annual Match Up, international students are invited into the homes of faculty and local families, ensuring that everyone has a place to go and a warm meal to eat on this special holiday.

Lebanon Valley College
For students at Lebanon Valley College, Thanksgiving has decidedly athletic undertones. When the football team defeats their rivals at Albright College, the team leads a group hike to Kreiderheim, the home of the college president. Following the march, students celebrate the victory as well as the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. As much as one-fourth of the student body has been known to participate in this popular tradition.

New York University
Like most colleges, NYU is closed during the holiday, but the university gives its students a multitude of opportunities to tap into the giving spirit. The institution outlines an array of different volunteer opportunities that students can participate in, including lending a hand at the Bowery Mission, City Meals on Wheels, Broadway Community, and New York City Rescue Mission. To make sure students don’t go hungry, an array of dining halls remain open and many pay homage to the holiday with festive menu offerings.

Whether you’re planning on living at home during college or staying in residential housing, Thanksgiving festivities can help students connect with their fellow peers. If you are looking at colleges now and narrowing down your list of best-fit institutions, our team of college admissions experts can help guide you through the process.



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