It’s a date most Marian University students had marked on their calendar for weeks, and they weren’t going to miss it. November 20, 2023: The date for the popular tradition of Marian faculty and staff serving students turkey, ham, and all the fixings for an unforgettable Thanksgiving.
“I love it so much,” said Samantha Sarvak ’24, “This is by far the best Marian activity, and I look forward to it each year.” She’s not alone. Students say the meal is a great way to create a sense of community and provide a home away from home experience.
It was Adarius Reese’s ‘24 second time attending the dinner, but he added there is more to the annual tradition. “You’ve got to understand, there are some students who don’t have any family or they don’t have a chance to enjoy Thanksgiving, so I’m glad Marian gives all students the opportunity to enjoy some great food and have fun.”
“The Thanksgiving food is just so wonderful, and there was music with staff, faculty, and students dancing and having a good time,” said Gustin Gaynor ’25.
Students came hungry, to say the least. While president Daniel J. Elsener lead the way by carving the turkey, other faculty and staff served up 26 turkeys, 16 turkey breasts and fixings like green beans, candied yams, and more for about 1,300 students.
“I love our students and this is one way to give back to them,” said Rhonda Garrison, assistant dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine. “They work so hard to get where they are, and I think it’s important to give them a break while relieving some of their stress.”
“Our hardworking students deserve me breaking out the utensils and carving up some turkeys as a reward for their focus, unwavering determination, and steadfastness during the semester,” said president Elsener. “We have a lot to be thankful for and our students are so deserving. Serving them for all they do is an honor I look forward to each year.”
Apart from the food, games and dancing, the Marian Thanksgiving tradition continued in the spirit of gratitude and togetherness during the holiday season.