HAC Holiday Party
By Meghan Schrader
Wednesday, Dec. 5, the Humanities and Communication Department held its annual HAC Holiday Party in Taylor Hall. The event was filled with holiday treats, decorations, laughter, and even some tears. Held for all students and staff in the department, the event featured an array of appetizers, desserts, and snacks all around for students and faculty to enjoy while chatting, but perhaps the highlight of the event was the Recognition of Seniors and Tree Decorating.
The Recognition of Seniors truly captures the heart of the department. In this event, each professor of the department is given one or two graduating seniors to say a few words about, congratulate, and present with an ornament that features their name and graduation year. The students then place their ornament on the tree to join those of past HAC students, where they will remain for years to come in remembrance. The event can be a tear-jerker, with more than a few damp eyes in the room as the department recognizes and wishes well the seniors who will be so dearly missed.
“The Holiday Party was something I haven’t had the pleasure of attending until this year,” graduating senior Samantha Libler said, “I had been told it was wonderful, but I didn’t realize how much so until I was there. The thing that really makes it so special is how much our professors truly know us. They speak for each senior and what they’ve meant to them and the department. The fact that each professor knows us by name, knows who we are and what we’ve done, and will genuinely miss us, is so impactful. I am so grateful to be part of a department that gives so much back to us as students, and I’ll miss it so much when I graduate.”
In additional to these touching moments, the party also welcomed the initiation of new members into Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society. In true style of the HAC Department, these new members were initiated via an informal knighting using a foam sword by their chapter chair Dr. Christine Olding. This year those students included: James Purkey, Meghan Schrader, Shaelynn Pettibone.
The HAC Holiday Party is more than cookies and punch, for sure. It exemplifies the mission and experience of the department to a tee, which is one of camaraderie, mentorship, and a truly caring environment filled with close relationships. Best of luck to all graduating seniors: Shantell Asher (COM major), Dusty Cowart (COM major), Jarod Davis (COM major), Anna Favalon (ENG minor), Mycah Houser (ENG major), Sydney Ilko (COM minor), Kevin Jaworski (COM minor), Emily Kennedy (ENGED minor), Samantha Libler (ENG major), Ryan Miller (COM minor), Jenna Niemeyer (ENGED major), Shae Pettibone (ENGED major), James Purkey (ENG major), Maddi Sanderson (COM major). You will be missed!