Reception kicked off holiday season, a time of giving, special events on campus

A sure sign that the holidays are upon us — along with snow on the ground — is the annual Chancellor’s Holiday Reception, which was held Tuesday afternoon in the Great Hall at the Memorial Student Center.

The atmosphere was festive with delicious food and treats provided by University Catering, seasonal music from student members of the Symphonic Band led by Aaron M. Durst, and holiday decorations.

The experience was special for a couple of reasons. One, I greeted and talked with many faculty, staff, students and retirees. With our busy schedules, that’s not always possible. Two, I enjoyed simply looking around the room and seeing colleagues smiling, laughing and sharing time together.

As part of the reception, gifts were dropped off for the Holiday Giving Tree to support the local Christmas Miracle program.

People are the key to the success of any institution or workplace. We are fortunate to have a collegial work environment across campus and employees who are dedicated to the success of UW-Stout and the world around us.

The reception was a Stout Proud event for me.

Selfies and more during first Stout Gives Back day

After the holiday reception, faculty and staff stopped by the selfie station for the first Stout Gives Back, part of National Day of Giving.

I donated $2 for every selfie that was posted to that person’s social media account, and Athletic Director Duey Naatz did the same at Johnson Fieldhouse. Online and other donations were pledged throughout the day.

Thanks to the Stout University Foundation staff for organizing the event, which we hope will become a tradition.

If you didn’t make it to the selfie station or donate on Tuesday, you still can make a gift to any department, program, scholarship or area of interest you desire via payroll deduction or a one-time annual gift.

More special events coming up, including commencement

This time of year, the calendar is filled with special events.

Don’t forget University Catering’s Holiday Buffet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday in the Great Hall. Online ticket orders end at 4 p.m. Friday or get them in room 224 of the student center.

The Provost’s Office is holding its annual Holiday Open House from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, in room 303 of the Administration Building. Stop by and enjoy some treats. Donations will be accepted for the Helping Hand Food+ Pantry on campus.

Speaking of the provost, interim Provost Glendali Rodriguez will be a guest reader during the Symphonic Band’s winter concert at 2 p.m. Sunday. Learn more here.

On Friday at 7 p.m., the Symphonic Singers hold their winter concert, Stars I Shall Find, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Learn more here.

Also, four special events featuring students are next week. The biggest, of course, is commencement, with ceremonies at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Johnson Fieldhouse. I encourage you to attend and celebrate the achievements of our graduates. Learn more here.

Starting this fall, a graduate will be a featured speaker at each ceremony.

Other upcoming student events — all free — include:

  • Stout Game Expo, SGX, from 6 to 9 p.m. on  Wednesday, Dec. 11, in the Great Hall featuring the latest, playable creations of game design and development and computer science students.
  • STEMM Expo, from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, in the Great Hall, featuring 135 student research projects.
  • Senior Show, from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, in Micheels Hall and Applied Arts, featuring art and design projects by seniors in the School of Art and Design.

Hmong New Year celebration is Saturday

Another holiday will be celebrated Saturday on campus, Hmong New Year.

The Hmong Stout Student Organization is hosting its 12th annual event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room of the Sports and Fitness Center. Enjoy Hmong music, dancing, food and more.

HSSO students put a lot of work into and take great pride in this event, which draws people from campus, Menomonie and beyond. It’s free for students, faculty and staff. Learn more here.

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