Quinnipiac University

University hosts holiday dinner for thousands of undergraduates

December 03, 2021

Students take a photo with an administrator.

Quinnipiac’s many traditions run deep, but few are enjoyed by faculty, staff and students as much as the end-of-fall-semester undergraduate holiday dinner.

Faculty and staff carefully straighten their aprons and hang holiday decorations throughout the Mount Carmel Dining Hall — before serving more than 6,000 students festive and delicious holiday dinners each year, as finals approach.

This tradition, which began in 1985 when Jill Martin, professor of legal studies, had the idea of giving students a unique holiday treat as the semester wound down.

“I wanted them to know we care for them and to go home feeling loved,” Martin said. “It gives us an opportunity to see them outside of the classroom as individuals, as part of our community.”

More than 100 faculty and staff members volunteer each year to bring the event to life.

“I love that so many members of the university community take advantage of this opportunity and have a good time,” she said.

Provost Debra Liebowitz helped for her first time Thursday evening.

Having joined the university only 15 months ago, it was her first opportunity to roll up her sleeves and help serve carrots and broccoli.

“This is a lovely opportunity to interact with students, serve them and be part of this important tradition of celebrating the end of the semester,” Liebowitz said.

In addition to the food, there were several stations for students to enjoy ice cream, make gingerbread houses, and take photos with their friends and faculty mentors.

“It truly is a joint effort; we set up, we serve, we bus tables. Not just faculty and staff, but Chartwells Dining Services and facilities jump in and help too. We couldn’t do it without everyone here. Everyone who is here is thrilled to be here – they’re excited and excited to help,” Martin explained.

For the first 30 years, there was a themed T-shirt designed each year, worn by the volunteers. Though that tradition ended in 2014, the organizing committee had the shirts sewn into a quilt, which was on display at the dinner.

Two civil engineering students stopped to admire the blanket on their way into the dinner and Martin was happy to explain its origin to them. It was the first undergraduate holiday dinner for Juliana Sabin ’23.

“I’m looking forward to this time to sit with friends, talk and enjoy their company without the stress of exams on my mind,” she said.

Her friend Sebastian Vacco ’23 reveled in the opportunity to unwind with those he cares about.

“This is always a great event and I think it’s a nice break before that last stressful week of classes and finals before heading home,” he said. “I love being part of this tradition.”

Related Articles

Snow covers Bobcat statue outside of the People's United Center

Quinnipiac and Hartford Promise announce new scholarship for Hartford students

Quinnipiac and Hartford Promise have announced a new scholarship that will be available to current Hartford Promise scholars who enroll at Quinnipiac.

Read More
Kate Duffy running to practice.

Bobcat lands NFL clinical opportunity with Carolina Panthers

Sports played a key role in most of Kate Duffy’s childhood.

Read More
Screen capture of webinar discussing the cannabis industry

Where the grass is greener in the cannabis industry

While it is easy to imagine a proverbial green rush as cannabis becomes legal for recreational adult use in more states, insiders explain that the development of a young industry without federal regulation can be as volatile as it is profitable.

Read More
Headshot of Professor Alexander Laskin

Professor addresses the gap in communications literature

Professor Alexander Laskin, Ph.D., recently published an academic book focused on the complexities of investor relations.

Read More
Libor Jany joins a journalism class via Zoom

Pulitzer Prize-winner encourages students to know their worth and limits

Award-winning journalist Libor Jany joined a Quinnipiac journalism class via Zoom on Wednesday to share his thoughts and experiences as a renowned journalist with students.

Read More

Stay Connected