Thanksgiving to be celebrated on campus

Staying on campus during Thanksgiving break may seem like a lonely endeavor, but numerous groups on campus work hard to let students have a true taste of home during the holiday.

For starters, more than 20 students will have dinner with 10 host families as part of the Home Plate program.

Started by Risa Zwerling Wrighton, wife of Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton, in 2001, the program aims to enhance students’ experiences by connecting them with host families from the University community and surrounding areas for home-cooked meals and outings around St. Louis.

The program has grown exponentially in recent years, now serving 200-250 new students each year and connecting them with more than 200 host families.

“It’s a great way for host families to feel as though they are a part of the University and to feel they are doing a good deed,” Zwerling Wrighton said. “And students always love a good home-cooked meal, especially at Thanksgiving.”

Aly Abrams, associate director of development for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, and her husband, Patrick Kelly, have hosted students since the program’s inception and will do so again this Thanksgiving.

“For the past few years, we’ve invited students to our home for holiday dinners,” Abrams said.

“It’s a great way to extend ourselves in the University community, and we find it’s always a pleasure to host exceptional WUSTL students in our home,” Abrams said.

Other Thanksgiving celebrations will be happening around campus as well, including:

• Dining Services will host a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and all the trimmings from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day in the Village Cafe.

• The 14th annual Olin Business School Thanksgiving dinner will be held from noon-2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day at the Charles F. Knight Executive Education Center. Olin students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends are welcome, along with their guests. All ages are welcome and a “crafts corner” will be available for children. For more information, call 935-6300.

• School of Social Work students, faculty and staff are invited to attend the annual Thanksgiving dinner from 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, in Brown Hall. For more information, e-mail