The holiday season is well under way, and it's a perfect time for celebration with friends and loved ones, warm beverages, reflection and hope. UNCG students, faculty and staff are also keeping in mind that the holidays are an excellent time for sharing, giving and living out the university's motto of Service.
Luminaires shed light on campus walkways.
Here are a few of the special projects that have had Spartans buzzing with holiday spirit while simultaneously helping those in need.
Since 1969, the pathways of campus have been illuminated by the glow of luminaires during the holiday season. That tradition continued this year, but with an added twist: This year's luminaires not only brought a little extra light to the campus, but also into the lives of families in need.
This year, each of the 1,400 luminaires spread around campus could be sponsored in memory of a loved one for $1. The funds raised from this program will go to the American Red Cross to help those in the Northeast hit by Hurricane Sandy.
The luminaires were lit on Reading Day as students prepared for final exams and, thanks to the program, celebrated the memory of lost loved ones while also helping meet the needs of those attempting to move past one of the costliest disasters in our nation's history.
An annual favorite, Branches of Love combines friendly competition with a spirit of philanthropy. Sponsored by the Student Alumni Ambassadors, this event, which was held Dec. 1, pitted dozens of student organizations against one another to see who could decorate the most impressive Christmas tree. After awards were given for Best Spartan Spirit, Best Theme, Best Homemade Decorations and Best Overall Tree, the fully decorated trees were donated to families in need throughout Greensboro.
This year, 30 trees were donated, along with canned goods and other items that helped to ensure that each of the families had a joyous holiday season.
Students and friends celebrating the spirit of the season.
What would the holiday season be without music? However, those melodies are even sweeter when they're generating funds for those in need.
Christina Hart, a Long Island native and graduate student studying cello performance at UNCG, was looking for a way to help the countless families who were devastated by Hurricane Sandy. She was personally impacted by the storm, as both her mother's and father's families live in the Setauket area, and was looking for ways to give back.
People have lost their lives, their homes, and everything they have, Christina said of Sandy's aftermath, and we need to continue to have awareness.
Aided by her fellow students, she found a way to do just that by organizing a relief concert Dec. 5 in the Music Building Recital Hall. The concert was open to the public and while no tickets were required, the students did ask for a donation toward the relief effort. All of the performers were students, and the line-up included a trombone quartet, a string trio, a saxophone quartet, an old-time band called Yer Crooked Cousins, vocalists, pianists and Christina, herself, on cello.
All proceeds from the concert went to the Island Harvest Food Bank, a Long Island hunger charity, which will use the money to buy and distribute food to those hit by Sandy. Those interested in making their own contribution to the organization can do so by visiting Island Harvest's web site.
This holiday season also signaled the end of the 2012 State Employees Combined Campaign, a fundraising effort through which UNCG employees raised funds to support more than 1,000 charitable organizations in our community and state.
The goal of the fundraising effort was $235,000, campus-wide, and as of Dec. 3, UNCG had raised $238,131.
The employees of this university, through their support of this campaign, have made a difference in the lives of thousands of people in our community and beyond, said Chancellor Linda Brady as the campaign concluded. Once again, they have shown their caring spirit.