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Purdue Memorial Union ushers in season with tree, festivities

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The holiday season at Purdue University will start Monday (Dec. 7) with the arrival of a 30-foot-tall Christmas tree at the Memorial Union’s Great Hall.

The 2008 PMU Christmas Tree (Photo by Po-Kai Huang)

The 2008 PMU Christmas Tree (Photo by Po-Kai Huang)

The Colorado blue spruce tree, which is scheduled to arrive at the Union at noon, is a donation from Jean Haywood and John Ward of Lafayette. It’s one of the largest indoor Christmas trees in Indiana.

The Purdue Student Union Board will decorate the tree on Monday evening. Students and Purdue Memorial Union dining services also will be building a 12-foot-tall gingerbread house in the Great Hall through Friday (Dec. 4).

Purdue President France A. Córdova will light the tree at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday (Dec. 8).

“The holiday events at the Union bring the community together and help us become aware of other cultures and traditions,” said Margie Tucker, program manager at the Purdue Memorial Union. “While the Purdue Student Union Board represents Christmas with the tree, we also showcase Kwanza, Hanukah, Chinese New Year and holidays throughout the year in Russia and Italy as part of our Holidays Around the World celebration.

“At a university of the size and with the diversity of Purdue, it’s necessary for students to understand, appreciate and support other cultures that make up its population.”

The Purdue Student Union Board is arranging the 12th annual Holidays Around the World from 3-7 p.m. Wednesday (Dec. 9) in the Union’s South Ballroom. Various international student groups will set up booths with displays about their cultures and different holidays during the year. Students from around the world also will make presentations.

Participating groups include La Milonguera Argentinean Tango Club, the Chinese calligraphy club, Polish Student Organization, Purdue University Malaysian Student Association, German Culture Club, Pagan Academic Network, Sigma Delta Pi – Spanish Honor Society, Black Cultural Center, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and the Hillel Foundation.

SANTA CLAUSAs 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. 8-11. Performing groups include Tippecanoe Christian School, Marla’s Music, West Lafayette High School Concert Choir, Lafayette Christian School Jr. High Choir, Purdue Brass Choir, Oakland and Murdock Elementary Choir, Western Varsity Choir & Western Jazz, Faith Christian School, and Mintonye Elementary.

Breakfast with Santa, an event where children can get their pictures taken with Santa, will take place from 8-10:30 a.m. Dec. 12 in the Great Hall. The breakfast is $2.50 for three pancakes, two sausage links and juice or milk. Coffee, tea and hot chocolate will be available for an additional dollar.

Holiday Crafts, a free craftmaking session, is from 9 a.m. to noon the same day in Room 118, next to the Great Hall.

For additional details on the events, visit

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 September 2020