Beloved Thanksgiving tradition fosters shared sense of community

Servo Thanksgiving 2019

Economics is one of several departments that make volunteering at Servo Thanksgiving an annual tradition.
Students enjoying Servo Thanksgiving dinner

A line of students more than 400 feet long camping out can only mean one thing—Servo Thanksgiving has arrived.

As leaves continue to fall, Gettysburgians rise with the sun to brave the cooler temperatures for hours, holding their spot in line to attend the dinner extravaganza that’s just one week shy of the national holiday.

An hour before Servo’s doors open, faculty, staff, and administrators make their way across campus to join the dining services team to help serve hundreds of turkeys. But their typical walk of just a few minutes extends longer as they check in on the students in line about upcoming exams, holiday plans, and more.

Some even like to “work the line,” including members of the economics department rallied together by Economics Academic Administrative Assistant Sue Holz, as lecturer Drew Murphy describes.

“We say hi to everybody,” Murphy said. “I high-five them. I think Servo Thanksgiving is one of the students’ favorite time of the year.”

“It’s amazing, and it may seem silly that students will line up as early as they do for this, but they are having fun,” added Economics Prof. Brendan Cushing-Daniels. “I think what it says is it’s really a much-anticipated event for the students. I think they genuinely appreciate having this family-like experience with their family that is here.”

Economics department serving students thanksgiving dinner

This beloved tradition, which started in the early 1990s, reflects the essence of Gettysburg College, fortifying student-faculty relationships for personal and professional growth. As Murphy noted, “a high-level of student-faculty engagement is entirely what Gettysburg is all about.”

“Serving dinner helps us to show our students that we are invested in their well-being both in and out of the classroom,” said Economics Prof. John Cadigan. “The event helps us foster and build upon our shared sense of community, giving us a chance to get to know each other on a night that has people thinking about gratitude and Thanksgiving.”

Learn more about how our traditions connect us all through moments rich in history that inspire pride in our community.

Student wearing a turkey hat at servo Thankgiving

View the full photo gallery on Flickr

By Megan Miller
Photos by Shawna Sherrell
Posted: 11/26/19