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Virtual International Thanksgiving Dinner to Be Held on Nov. 19
International students will come together virtually on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. ET to celebrate Syracuse University’s 36th Annual International Thanksgiving Dinner. Approximately 500 members of the University community are expected to take part in the annual tradition. This year’s dinner is sponsored by the Chancellor’s House and the Center for International Services.
The dinner, started at the University in the 1980s by the late Rev. T.E. Koshy, is intended to introduce new international students to the American Thanksgiving experience. In previous years, those attending gathered in the Schine Student Center’s Goldstein Auditorium for the dinner.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has put a new twist on the celebration. Those attending will gather in one large Zoom room for welcome remarks by Chancellor Kent Syverud, Dr. Ruth Chen, professor of practice in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, and others. Information Technology Services will then direct those attending into breakout rooms of 20-25 people, where they will be “hosted” by two members of the University community. The hosts will engage the attendees in conversation and answer questions about the history and traditions of Thanksgiving.
Meals, provided by Food Services, will be distributed that day to be enjoyed during the event. Meal pick-up will be from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Milton Atrium at the Life Sciences Complex (North Campus) or Inn Complete on South Campus.
“This historical celebration has led to new friendships and reminds us of the many ways that Syracuse University is strengthened by students from around the globe,” says Dr. Chen. “Although the celebration has to be a virtual one this year, we maintain the same spirit of thankfulness and fellowship. I believe this singularly uplifting event will once again be a meaningful experience for the community.”
“As a former international student I have fond memories of my first Thanksgiving dinner experience when I was invited to Chicago to visit my friend’s parents,” says Juan Tavares, director of the Center for International Services. “The wonderful experience was not so much about the food but about the reasons to celebrate, counting the blessings upon us, sharing with the family and learning about the initial reasons that brought together colonists and Indigenous people as they generously shared their fruitful harvest. The SU tradition of 36 years hosting this dinner is a testament of our commitment to bring people of different cultures together and kindly share together a meal and fellowship.”
Invitations to the celebration have been mailed. For questions or more information, contact Kelley Champa at 315.443.4439 or firstname.lastname@example.org.