University Park, IL,
16:02 PM

GSU Hosts Annual Holiday Party

Ugly Sweaters

Governors State University (GSU) celebrated the holidays with its Annual Holiday Party Dec. 10, marking the first time the in-person event was held since 2019.

On the Friday afternoon, GSU community members came together to enjoy a lunch buffet, holiday-themed activities and a good time in the Hall of Governors, which was decked out with balloons fashioned as snowflakes, snowmen, and candy canes.

GSU Board of Trustees Chair Lisa Harrell kicked off the event by honoring GSU’s staff, from essential workers to new hires. During her remarks, she emphasized how special it is to be part of the GSU family while wishing attendees a happy holiday on behalf of the Board of Trustees. She also called on the community members audience to use the holiday season as a way to “not just reflect on what you’ve done in the past but dream about what you can do in the future.”

“You have a board here who is supporting you and I’m so thankful to be here,” she said.

After her remarks, attendees had a chance to keep each other company with the return of a few holiday party traditions and the introduction of new ones like creating and viewing cultural crafts and posing with Instagram-styled photo frames and backdrops.

 Dr. Shirley Spencer, an Associate Professor for the College of Health and Human Services Nursing Program, hosted a holiday card signing table for veterans. Spencer, who is a veteran, said the cards would be sent to soldiers currently deployed “to let them know we’re thinking about them and they’re not forgotten.”

“They greatly appreciate having those cards because they’re lonely, they’re away from home and they get a little depressed,” she said. “This is a way to uplift them.”

Meanwhile, competition was fierce in the Fabulous Ugly Sweater Contest, which saw 20 contestants modeling their decorated and multi-patterned festive wear to the audience members tasked with voting whose sweater was ugly, uglier and ugliest. Dorothea Franklin, Assistant Records Management Officer from the Office of the Registrar, came out on top in the competition, followed by Director of Institutional Advancement Laura Mannion, and Donna Gill, Office Support Assistant from the Office of Facilities, Development and Management.

The annual Door Decorating Contest winners were also announced at the event. Three departments were recognized for their decorative efforts including Counseling and Wellness in 1st place, the Office of the Registrar in 2nd and the Financial Aid Office in 3rd. Individual door winners included first place winner Sherry Murawski, a Client Relations Representative from Financial Aid, followed by Jenna Putman, Program Coordinator for Psychology and Counseling and the University Archives door in third place.