emoment with carl
One of the most exciting features of college life is getting away from what you have known and experiencing a rush of new sensations. At first, family traditions may feel like something one can leave behind. But traditions also connect us. And family traditions are especially missed around holidays, particularly when the excitement of college may have been replaced by seemingly never-ending study.

Elizabethtown College students have come to cherish our tradition of a special Thanksgiving Dinner. Held a week before the actual holiday, students dress to celebrate the holiday season and attend a traditional turkey dinner, served by faculty, staff, and alumni. My wife Gail and I always pitch in to lend a hand. The Dinner brings students closer together and gives them an additional incentive to get their work done before joining their families the following week.

The College’s Thanksgiving Dinner also creates a new tradition for alumni. Many alumni have told me that memories of the Dinner have helped them to form their own traditions and show how grateful they are to be part of this community. Suzette Krieder ’82 and parent of a 2016 graduate, who manages our local Northwest Emergency Medical Services, came straight from work last week, still wearing her uniform, in order to serve. James Jones ’88, as he has for years, flew from Florida to Pennsylvania in time to serve at the Dinner, most definitely winning the prize for the farthest to travel. Service educates us on how deeply communities, in this case, the Elizabethtown College family, are bound together by the threads of tradition. May everyone have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Working together as an Elizabethtown College Family has given us all the amazing opportunity to form traditions and create long-lasting relationships with the community.

Enjoy the moment,

Carl J. Strikwerda,

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