In a beautifully silent tribute to the season, peer mentors at Gallaudet University offer holiday greetings and practical advice for winter break, while the College of William and Mary celebrates the season by sharing an adorable community of gingerbread houses including a replica of the Sir Christopher Wren Building.
American University presents “Clawed’s Gift” with the help of local celebrities, and the University of Virginia shares the truly spectacular Lighting of the Lawn in honor of the season—not the least bit marred by the ongoing renovation project.
Colleges continue to make creative use of YouTube and other internet resources for extending warm holiday greetings. Some provide an opportunity to see what the campus looks like during winter months, and others introduce viewers to key administrative staff who just happen to play starring roles in the productions.
And the videos can be anything from earnest messages read by college presidents seated before brilliantly burning yule logs to humorous collages of campus and student life.
After a thorough search through the internet and a little help from a few admissions offices, here are my candidates for the best of the 2014 holiday videos:
- Carroll University: For this year’s “Christmas Card,” Carroll University turned its most historic building, Main Hall, into a “high-tech, living canvas by creating and projecting a video onto the building’s exterior.” Don’t miss the accompanying documentary on how the extraordinary light show was put together.
- Georgia Tech: The College of Engineering puts the final touches on the holiday gift delivery system and Buzz takes over. The clever animation showcases Tech from above—a bee’s eye view of campus.
- Marist College: The men from Leo Hall Ground Floor produce a Marist remake of “All I want for Christmas is You,” and the results are more than holiday worthy!
- McDaniel College: Members of the faculty recite Eugene Field’s poem, “The Sugar Plum Tree” in a lovely tribute to the season.
- Penn State: Once again, the Penn State Nittany Lion manages to find a way to bring the campus community together for the holidays. And all it took was a VERY long string of lights.
- Sam Houston State University: The robotics lab goes to work and devises a very special delivery drone that brings holiday greetings to the entire campus.
- South Dakota State University: This very cute video tells the story of how a certain red-nosed reindeer found his “true” colors!
- Thomas Aquinas College: Bringing the joy of the holiday into the marketplace, 150 students stage a choral “flash mob” at Ventura’s Pacific View Mall—lovely on many levels!
- University of Connecticut: One of the more creative holiday videos of the year presents a virtual Yule Log, which when viewed as “continuous loop” can provide endless hours of entertainment. If you don’t have a fireplace, use your computer to light things up for the holidays!
- University of Illinois: Although Beloit College received a number of enthusiastic votes for its holiday video featuring various campus organizations singing “Let It Snow,” an even more compelling version was produced by the Fighting Illini. It’s SO BAD, it’s great!
- University of North Dakota: “When our founding fathers built this great institution in the late 1880’s, all they had were their bare hands, piles of bricks, and the ugly sweaters on their backs. In North Dakota, we are innovators. We won’t stop at an ugly sweater. We’ll put on an ugly sweater vest too.…” And yes, the video features a series of really ugly sweaters!
Best wishes for a wonderful holiday from my family to yours!