True to its American roots, celebration of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday is a Franklin campus tradition. This year, the prevention measures for the COVID-19 pandemic have created the need for a format change, but the sentiment is the same, and members of the Franklin extended family are invited to share in the virtual celebration on Zoom starting at 8:00 p.m. CET on November 26.

Past years would have seen us gathered together as a campus to eat traditional Thanksgiving dishes and celebrate the ideals of banding together and helping fellow humans to face adversity. President Warden would have carved the turkey, and we would have enjoyed each other’s company on this holiday that serves to remind us of the benefits of breaking down cultural barriers and putting aside our differences in favor of community and sharing.

Russell Martin, Assistant Dean of Residence Life and Student Programming, remembers, “When I came to campus to interview for my first job at Franklin, it was actually the day of the Thanksgiving dinner that year, and the OSL staff invited me to dinner. Seeing how people came together was actually one of the things that helped me understand how close the Franklin community is…We won't be able to share dinner together this year, but we can be sure we're not missing the community!”

This year, instead of canceling the celebration, we have decided to expand it! Since the festivities will be online this year, all family and friends around the world are invited to celebrate with us. After the toast, participants will have the opportunity to gather in open or private breakout rooms to hang out, talk or even eat dinner together.

During the day Thursday, the Food Services team on campus will be cooking Thanksgiving-style food all day. Students, faculty and staff that plan to participate in the toast can grab a Thanksgiving meal to go and then hop on the call to have dinner with friends and family. We hope you will join us for this extended community event!

On Thanksgiving it is traditional to think about what one is thankful for. We are thankful that we have been able to be together as a community on campus this year, despite the difficulties, and we are thankful for everyone’s commitment to keeping one another safe and healthy during these times.  Above all, we are thankful that our community has been able to thrive and think positively, making every effort to meet the challenges of the times and continue living, learning and growing together.