Turkey sculpture for Thanksgiving celebrations

Thanksgiving celebrations on campus

Thanksgiving is an official American holiday historically celebrated around the harvest time in gratitude for successful crops.

In modern day America, Thanksgiving evokes images of roasted turkey with stuffing, pumpkin pie, football and family reunions.

On Thursday 28 November, the University of Exeter will be hosting a Thanksgiving lunch and prior to this; Exeter cheerleaders will be rousing the crowd to encourage the University’s American Football team in a ‘touch’ football game on the piazza at 11am. The Terrace Restaurant in Devonshire House, will be transformed into an all American themed harvest festival where a traditional two course Thanksgiving feast of roast turkey or nut roast with gravy, creamed potato, buttered sweet corn, butternut squash, vegetables followed by pumpkin pie or American cheesecake.  The lunch is between 12 midday and 2pm and costs £6.40. There will be games and a cash prize for the best ‘Thanksgiving costume’.

Rick Smith is a third year BA International Relations student at the University of Exeter, originally from Michigan. Rick said: “Thanksgiving means a lot to me, as it is a gathering of family and friends, celebrating each other and the past year. Although my family resides back in the US, it is great to be able to carry on that tradition here while studying in the UK. It is great that the University supports the international community and their culture as it lets us share this day with not only fellow Americans but also with UK and other international students.”

He added: “This is my third Thanksgiving at the University and my second helping to organise it. It has been a great time and I am actually quite sad that this is my last.”

The University of Exeter has a strong and long standing exchange programme with Kenyon College, Ohio USA. The programme which was established nearly forty years ago has seen a surge in participation this year, with twenty-two Kenyon students studying at the Streatham Campus. As part of their degree, Kenyon’s English majors can spend a year at Exeter studying a combination of Exeter and Kenyon modules. The flexibility of the programme also means that they can choose a module from other departments within the College of Humanities, for example Drama or Film Studies. The significant rise in the number of students taking part this year has meant that the students are accompanied by two Resident Directors, Professors Sergei Lobanov-Rostovsky and Sarah Heidt who facilitate the programme. They both acted as Resident Directors in previous years and have been looking forward to working together to shape the 2013-14 Kenyon-Exeter programme. The American students will be joining in the activities as well organising an evening Thanksgiving event off campus.

Sue O’Hara, the University’s Student Support Officer (Transition and Integration) said:“Thanksgiving’s great! What’s not to love about saying what we are thankful for and acknowledging the needs of those who may not be so fortunate. To honour this part of the Thanksgiving tradition we will be collecting for the Exeter Foodbank charity during the lunchtime event. I’m really looking forward to sharing Thanksgiving with all of our student community, wherever they are from.”

Date: 26 November 2013

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