All-University Thanksgiving returns to campus Thursday

Photo by Baylor Photography

By Camille Cox | Staff Writer

All-University Thanksgiving will return to campus to host the Baylor family with a free Thanksgiving meal, a presidential pardoning of a live turkey and a community celebration of thanks on Thursday.

Sugarland senior Nicole Ma, Student Foundation president, said Baylor Student Foundation and Student Government collaborated to host the event.

“One of the biggest traditions we have is All-University Thanksgiving,” Ma said. “The co-chairs for campus promotions, which is one of our committees that focuses on campus events, have been working months in preparation for this event because we haven’t been able to have it because of COVID. Last year, we did do the drive-thru version, which we served around 5,000 to 6,000 meals to people through the dining halls with the help of so many amazing people.”

Montgomery senior Hope Chang and Dallas senior Katie Shore, Student Foundation campus promotion co-chairs, worked together to create and plan this year’s All-University Thanksgiving.

“We had collaborative meetings with Student Government, Aramark and our directors, building from a vision we had of All-University Thanksgiving,” Chang said. “Since it is returning after about two years where we haven’t had it in person, we really wanted to emphasize this coming together. That’s why our T-shirts say, ‘We are better together’ on the back.”

Ma said Student Foundation sold shirts for $15 leading up to the event to raise money for student scholarships.

“Essentially, all the proceeds will go to student scholarships that are open through Student Foundation in the spring that any student is able to apply for, and it also serves as an incentive as a fast pass, so if you buy one of these shirts, you can also go through to the front of the food line,” Ma said.

Shore said students will be able to get a free Thanksgiving meal, play field games, take photos with friends and watch President Linda Livingstone pardon a live turkey on campus.

“It’s just a lot of fellowship, food and fun — an opportunity to step away from the craziness of school and exams and all that stuff and gather as a community to enjoy good food and enjoy good company,” Shore said.

Chang said the turkey pardoning will take place at 6 p.m. on the stage at Fountain Mall, while the event itself will run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“We’re expecting about 9,000 to 10,000 attendees, so it’s super exciting,” Chang said. “Especially after having hybrid classes and online classes, this is huge. It’s a really memorable time where we can just come together and bond over a free Thanksgiving meal and meet new people. It’s just a really beautiful Baylor tradition that really emphasizes what it means to be a part of the Baylor family.”

Emerging from the pandemic, Shore said she feels the event will bring joy and hope to campus as students gather together for the first time in two years at All-University Thanksgiving.

“I’m extremely thankful that we get to have this event and we have a community like we have at Baylor that is so welcoming and inviting and kind of like this family,” Shore said. “There is so much joy and so much to be thankful for at All-University Thanksgiving.”