Thanksgiving celebrations on campus
Millions of Americans will be getting together for ‘Thanksgiving’ on Thursday 24 November.
Thanksgiving is a special holiday which stems from the feast held in the autumn of 1621 by the English colonists, known as the Pilgrims to celebrate the colony’s first successful harvest.
The University of Exeter will be joining in the American festivities with a traditional turkey and pumpkin pie lunch on campus. The Thanksgiving lunch is between 12 and 2pm on Thursday in The Terrace Restaurant in Devonshire House. In the tradition of Thanksgiving the University will also be collecting for Exeter Food Bank. The International Student Support Office, which is organising the event, is encouraging people to ‘bring a tin’ of food, tea, coffee or dried goods. They welcome contributions from everyone - even those who are unable to attend the lunch.
The event will also feature a special ‘Thankful board’, where post-it-notes with messages of thanks can be written and shared with the rest of the University in Devonshire House. An American-themed quiz with a cash prize will also be on offer throughout the lunchtime period.
The University of Exeter has over 200 American students, and for the last 30 years, groups of students from Kenyon College, a liberal arts college in Ohio, USA, have been coming to Exeter to study for a year as part of their degree programme in English.
Professor Philip Schwyzer is Head of English at the University and is an American. He said: “Thanksgiving has some of the meanings for Americans that Christmas has for people in Britain, a celebration centring around family and food. Different communities celebrate it in different ways, and many will be thinking about more recent experiences of immigration rather than about the so-called Pilgrim Fathers. But everyone knows the Pilgrims set sail from Plymouth, so this is a day when people all over America have Devon on their minds.”
Date: 24 November 2011