by Heather Greene, a graduate assistant in the Office of Public Relations at JSU
Sandwiched between the Halloween chaos of October and the Black Friday sales which kick off the hectic Christmas shopping season, Thanksgiving serves as a day for families to gather together for a home cooked meal and reflect upon their many blessings.
As there is no pressure to purchase cards, candies, presents, costumes, chocolate bunnies, or fireworks, many individuals, including myself, find Thanksgiving one of the most enjoyable and un-commercialized holidays on the calendar.
Words of gratitude are not only found around the table on Thanksgiving, but can also be found around JSU’s campus this time of year.
“I am thankful for the opportunity to serve the Students of Jacksonville State University, as well as the opportunity to continue pursuing a higher education at the friendliest campus in the south. I am also thankful for my wonderful fiancée, Miss Melanee L. Orr,” says JSU’s sixty-fourth SGA president, Jason Sumner.
Alex Rainwater, SGA Vice President of Student Activities states, “I am thankful every day for waking up and being able to live life to the fullest with my wonderful family and friends.”
“I am thankful for the health of my family, for the opportunity to live in the greatest country in the world, and to be given all of the opportunities and blessings that God has given me,” says Vinson Houston, JSU’s Vice President of Information Technology.
Dr. Charles. R. Lewis, Vice President for University Advancement says, “I am thankful for my parents who believed in the power of education to nurture God given potential and sacrificed to provide an education for their son that neither one of them had the opportunity to pursue. And, I am thankful for my wife and children who have given me cherished moments of joy and fulfillment and my friends who have added a wonderful palette of colorful relationships to my life.”
Dr. William Meehan, President of JSU, states, “One of the many things I am thankful for this Thanksgiving Holiday is for our country, The United States of America. Specifically our Constitution which allows us the many freedoms we enjoy every day. Although our election process is never easy, it allows all of us to change or retain our leaders without the armed conflict that we still see in so many nations around the world. So I am thankful and pray that God will continue to bless the USA.”
Because of distance or cost of travel, it is difficult for many students to make it home for the Thanksgiving holiday. However, many organizations on campus host their own Thanksgiving-type meal, which allows for great food, fun, and fellowship for students.
Sodexo Dining Services at JSU annually hosts “Thanksgiving at the Caf,” where they feature scrumptious Thanksgiving food a week before the holiday. This year, the Sodexo’s event was held on Thursday, November 15, 2012 in the Jack Hopper Dining Hall. The SGA Organizational Council joined with the season and hosted a potluck dinner on November 13, 2012 in the TMB Auditorium. Also, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving break begins, the Baptist Campus Ministries meal features Thanksgiving foods.
Going back home across America is one thing; but, when home is across the world, travelling home over the holiday break can prove quite expensive for international students. Therefore, the International House annually hosts a Thanksgiving meal, made up of all the mouth watering foods associated with Thanksgiving. This year’s International House Thanksgiving meal was held on Monday, November 19 at the International House and was open to all students.
As far as my own blessings list, well, it is quite long indeed. However, I am thankful for my God and His provision, my wonderful family, boyfriend, and friends.
So, whether you will be home for this holiday or spending the break around the Jacksonville area, Jacksonville State University would like to wish you a safe and joyous Thanksgiving!
This article first appeared in the "Town and Gown" of the Jacksonville News.