The College of William and Mary welcomes the holidays with a festive Yule Log ceremony, while members of the McDaniel College faculty take turns reading Jack Frost by Gabriel Setoun.
American University celebrates the holidays with an assortment of astonishingly ugly sweaters, and the University of Virginia shares the truly spectacular Lighting of the Lawn honoring the season in a ceremony similar to that staged by Christopher Newport University.
Colleges continue to make creative use of YouTube and other social media for extending warm holiday greetings. Some provide an opportunity to see what the campus looks like during the winter months, and others introduce viewers to key administrative staff who just happen to play starring roles in the productions.
The videos can be anything from earnest messages read by college presidents seated in front of brilliantly burning yule logs to humorous collages of campus and student life. And many are thinly disguised marketing endeavors designed to generate interest in whatever it is the college is choosing to showcase.
After a thorough search through the internet and a little help from a few IECs and admissions offices, here are my candidates for the best of the 2015 holiday videos—ugly sweaters and dogs are huge this year:
Agnes Scott College. Scottie takes a ride around campus on a magic sled and delivers presents. Cute dog.
Arizona State University. A magic box positioned in the middle of campus will grant holiday wishes, and everyone asks for something different.
Champlain College. The Dance Team produces an NSYNC Christmas [Music Video]. The production was filmed at Champlain’s new sound stage.
Everett Community College. EvCC News has received unconfirmed reports of a snowflake sighting near the Everett Community College campus. Check it out! This one is really funny.
Georgia Tech. Students surprise a much-loved security guard with a huge gift for the holidays.
Guilford College. College President Jane K. Fernandes and her husband extend holiday greetings. President Fernandes is Guilford’s ninth president and the first deaf woman to lead a college or university in the U.S.
Harvard College. The Kuumba Singers come together for the 45th Annual Dr. S. Allen Counter Christmas Concert for an inspired performance of “Mary Did You Know?”
Holy Cross College, IN. Basil, the Holy Cross mascot, makes his way to the manger and kneels. The story is based on a poem titled, “Basil at the Crib,” by Brother George Klawitter, CSC, Professor, English Literature and Writing.
Kenyon College. This lovely black and white video features a very talented group of students riffing on “Let it Snow.” If you’re looking for snow, here is your opportunity.
Landmark College. College President Peter Eden comes up with a novel way to spread holiday cheer with the help of a canine friend and lots of holiday sweaters.
Meredith College. President Allen’s dog, Bachelor, helps get the campus ready for the holidays and celebrates the College’s 125th anniversary. Another cute dog.
Ohio Wesleyan University. The admissions staff comes together as a family to open gifts under the tree. But who is that sad-looking pink bunny? And why is he there?
Thomas Aquinas College. Nearly 150 Thomas Aquinas students descend on The Oaks shopping mall in Thousand Oaks, California, to stage a holiday “flash mob.” This is a follow-up to last year’s flash mob at another area mall.
University Illinois. The athletes are back. And this year’s video is no better than last year’s video—so BAD, it’s great!
University of Connecticut. We’re all huskies at heart. More totally adorable dogs. But be sure to check out the blooper reel.
University of Illinois Springfield. Two very special students find out what students, faculty and staff are looking forward to during the holiday season. These girls are really funny!
University of Maryland College Park. The Robert H. Smith School of Business auditions talented students, administrators and faculty in a local production of “Holiday Idol.” And who will be the new Kelly Clarkson? Don’t miss this one!!
University of North Dakota. The ugly sweaters are back. “The cold never bothered me anyway.”
Wheaton College, IL. A cellist opens the production from a seat within the audience while the rest of the symphony orchestra files in playing “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” The entire concert lasts over an hour and reflects the strong religious orientation of the college.
Williams College. The Williams alma mater song “The Mountains” was recorded and filmed in the newly restored Chapin Hall. And it’s a beautiful way to end the list.