Return to top

Thanksgiving at the University

Written by Leanna Barcelona

As Thanksgiving approaches, the Archives brings a historical perspective to this holiday that is often forgotten during the hustle and bustle of modern life. Unlike previous generations, current students can appreciate their full week of break at home while past students could not even leave campus for the holiday.

Thanksgiving postcard, undated. Found in record series 39/2/28
Thanksgiving postcard, undated. Found in record series 39/2/28

Over the years, faculty and staff made an effort to provide students with an enjoyable holiday. In 1880, the Illini reported, “Several of the professors on Thanksgiving Day opened their houses to parties of students and bestowed hospitality in bountiful store upon them.”[1] Over 100 years later in 1982, Mr. Kennedy Kincaid and his family offered to host several international students for Thanksgiving vacation through the YMCA. The University YMCA Cosmopolitan Club also annually hosts a Thanksgiving Dinner. In 1987, the dinner benefited Refugees Assistance in Champaign-Urbana and in 2003 the proceeds assisted the Even Star Program administered by Urbana Adult Education.

Continue reading “Thanksgiving at the University”