5 Colleges with Touching Thanksgiving Traditions

Most students travel home for Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean college campuses are completely devoid of the heart-warming Thanksgiving spirit! Here are 5 colleges with feel-good Thanksgiving traditions.

Smith College: Thanksgiving Day Match-Up

Flickr user Mark Goebel

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday meant to celebrate family and friends. The students and faculty at Smith College go a step further, by inviting international students into their homes to share in the festivities, food, and good cheer.

The Thanksgiving Day Match-up is a truly touching newer tradition that encapsulates the heart of Thanksgiving—celebrating friendships and ensuring that everyone is welcome and has a seat at the table. The more the merrier!

Carnegie Mellon University: Thanksgiving Spirituality Dinner

Flickr user Nathaniel F

Thanksgiving is one of the only major holidays not connected to a religion in the US. However at Carnegie Mellon, students take the Thanksgiving holiday to reflect on and discuss the various faiths celebrated on campus.

Students share beloved traditions, their thoughts on spirituality, and learn about other faiths during the entire month of November. The whole thing is capped off with the Thanksgiving Spirituality Dinner, where students from all beliefs can sit together and enjoy a warm meal with new friends.

Lehigh University: Turkey Trot

Flickr user Lehigh Valley, PA

Running several miles is the last thing many want to do after eating too much turkey. Well, the students at Lehigh University have turned that very thing into a long-running tradition. For well over 50 years, the annual Turkey Trot—a 2.6 mile race—sees 500 students run through campus.

It’s one of the school’s biggest events. In prior years, the race was held a week before Thanksgiving, though that’s no longer the case. It’s definitely a great way to burn off some of those calories!

Lebanon Valley: March to Kreiderheim

Flickr user Morris Miller

What would you do for one extra day of break? Lebanon Valley students defeat their in-state rival—Albright University—march over to their president’s house, and demand an extra day. Fortunately, if the team wins, that demand is never denied and students can enjoy a longer break with their families.

The tradition is called March to Kreiderheim and is half a century old. The president will always honor the student’s petition for an extra day—unless their football team loses the game, of course.

Ohio State University: Thanksgiving Day Dinner

Flickr user Dan Keck

Nobody likes to be left behind for Thanksgiving. A couple decades ago a few graduate students at OSU decided to throw their own feast after everyone else left campus. Flash forward and the Thanksgiving Day Dinner is a truly legendary bash.

It grows more and more popular each year. In 2015, it was nothing short of a massive feast. 120 turkeys, over 1,000 pounds of potatoes, 432 pounds of green beans and corn, and 180 apple and pumpkin pies, for nearly 2,000 guests. Wow.

Interested in any of these great schools? Check out College Raptor’s free match tool to see if they’re a good fit for you!