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Faculty and staff serve Turkey dinner

November 29, 2010

By Ali Neese, Staff Writer

YHC yoga instructor Ki Curtis serves drinks at the annual campus Thanksgiving dinner, where faculty and staff serve YHC students a family-style dinner. Photo by Jacob Stone

When someone mentions Thanksgiving, images of turkey, football and spending time with family come to mind. For many Young Harris College students the annual Thanksgiving Dinner held in the Grace Rollins Dining Hall comes to mind. This well-known tradition took place this past Wednesday and consisted of two shifts- one at 4:45 p.m. and another at 5:45 p.m. Approximately 442 students were served by 23 faculty members. While the event is held annually at YHC, many do not realize the deep roots that this tradition has in YHC’s history.

The dinner involves getting dressed up, going to the dining hall where we are seated with friends and being served family-style by professors and other faculty.

Austin Freeman, a junior theatre major from Hartwell, says that his favorite part of the Thanksgiving Dinner is hanging out with good friends.

While Dr. Sean McGreevey, director of residence life, said that he loves to serve the YHC students at Thanksgiving.

What many do not know is that years ago every meal at YHC used to be served this way.

According to Mr. Bill Fox, YHC alumni and former faculty member, “we had family style meals every meal. Student workers waited tables and would bring out the food to each table, and it would go around like a family.”

While the Thanksgiving tradition was not officially held in those days, it did occur. According to an issue of the Enotah Echoes that was printed on Dec. 10, 1946, some students were unable to go home over the Thanksgiving holiday. To make sure everyone remaining on campus had a pleasant experience and did not get too homesick, faculty and students worked together to prepare the meals. The dinner was as much loved then as it is now, since the article says that everyone had a good time and that there was “not a homesick person to be seen.”

While Thanksgiving dinner did exist in 1946, it is difficult to determine when the tradition began. Some claim it began when Dr. Charles Clegg was president in the 1950s and early 1960s. While others say it started in the 1970s.

Regardless of when it became an official YHC custom, the meal is enjoyed by students and staff, and this year’s dinner was no exception. Allen Clark, general manager of the Grace Rollins Dining Hall, said the dinner went very smoothly.

“There was plenty of food and plenty of people to come eat it. It looked like everybody was enjoying themselves. I enjoyed it,” Clark said.


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