The Humanities Plaza, recently packed with students and an air of exam stress, was filled with hundreds of eager UD students and their buddies last night, waiting for the lighting of the 30-foot Christmas tree that signified the start of their favorite event of the year.
Behind them, a giant, lighted “54” sign sat atop the Jesse Philips Humanities Center, representing the 54 years students have paired annually with nearly 1,000 students from Dayton city schools to give them a Christmas of dreams.
This year’s theme was “O Come All Ye Flyers,” and joyfully they came, leading their little buddies through buildings on campus bursting with activities, performances and students interacting with the kids.
Some students begged their kids to put on their warm clothes, while others just expressed how glad they were the kids were there. Each kid looked delighted and ready to be led through this magical Christmas maze by their newfound friend.
Veterans of the event, held on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, could once again enjoy the live Nativity scene, horse and buggy carrying the famous Claus couple, and a carnival of games in UD’s RecPlex. However, fans of Christmas carols were in luck with this year’s event additions.
Two brand new a cappella groups debuted, including UD’s first all-female acapella group, The Flying Solos. The lobby of Science Center overflowed with onlookers standing on furniture and crowding the group as they serenaded their new fans with a rendition of Justin Bieber’s “Under the Mistletoe.”
Almost simultaneously at Kennedy Union, frontman Jordan Kenny ’19 introduced Underscore , a 10-person co-ed a cappella group, also gave its first performance featuring an arrangement from popular a cappella group Pentatonix.
Following the “brand new” theme, Heritage Coffeehouse held its first Christmas on Campus event. The coffeehouse is the newest division of Flyer Enterprises, and it opened earlier this year. The coffeehouse hosted crafts for the children.
The new events, though exciting, were just three of more than 60 planned by UD students in the eight committees that make up the Christmas on Campus club. Students have been working since March to make this event happen, and to Eva Schuller ’18, event coordinator, the best part is finally getting to bring UD students together with the rest of the Dayton community.
“My hope is that [UD students] will experience a sense of selflessness and joy in working to give the children of the Dayton community a magical night,” she said.
And a magical night it was.
Photos by Larry Burgess, Kristin Davis ’18 and Cari Zahn ’18