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Purdue Memorial Union rings in the holiday season

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The holiday season at Purdue University kicks off Monday (Dec. 8) with the arrival of a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree in the Memorial Union’s Great Hall.

The tree, which is scheduled to arrive at the Union at noon, is a donation from Karen and Jack Ferry of Lafayette. Karen Ferry has been a Purdue employee for 31 years and currently works in the payroll department.

The Purdue Student Union Board will decorate the tree at about 7 p.m. Dec. 8. In addition, Purdue Memorial Union dining services will build a 12-foot-tall gingerbread house in the Great Hall, starting Dec. 9.

“The significance of the holiday celebrations at the Union is that they bring together the community and strengthen our understanding of various cultures and traditions,” said Margie Tucker, a program manager at the Purdue Memorial Union. “While the Christmas tree represents one tradition, we also have Holidays Around the World, an event that celebrates other cultures and holidays.”

The Purdue Student Union Board is arranging the 11th annual Holidays Around the World from 1-5 p.m. Dec. 10 in the Union’s South Ballroom. Various international student groups will set up booths with displays about their cultures and different holidays around the year. Students from every continent will make presentations.

“Each student organization has the opportunity to do some sort of performance,” Tucker said. “We also have cuisine, beverages and music from various countries.

“Our perception is that since Purdue has such great diversity on campus, we think it’s necessary to have events that not only make international students more comfortable, but also help other students understand and appreciate other cultures.”

As part of the celebration, local musicians and schools will perform holiday songs in the Great Hall from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Dec. 9-12.

Performing groups include Lafayette Christian School, Lafayette First Assembly of God, Marla’s Music, Purdue University Brass Choir, seventh-and eighth-graders from West Lafayette Jr.-Sr. High School, and the fifth-and sixth-grade choir from Faith Christian School.

Breakfast with Santa, an event where children can get their pictures taken with Santa, will take place from 8-10:30 a.m. Dec. 13 in the Great Hall.

For details on the events, visit For information, contact Tucker at (765) 494-8907,, or Melanie Johnsen, director of traditional events at the Purdue Student Union Board, at (765) 494-8976,

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