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UD Holiday Traditions from the Archives

Tuesday, December 3, 2013  
Posted by: Kari Lammer
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Holiday Party  - 1957

Jonathan Helmke
Assistant Director for Library Systems and Technical Services 

As we head into the holiday season and celebrate a new tradition on campus, Christmas at Heritage Center, I would like to highlight a few photographs and other artifacts from the Archives that highlight the traditions at UD.    

 Here are some fun facts concerning the traditions:
1.  In the 1940s, the Key (UD’s annual yearbook) began the tradition of choosing a female student as the "Key Queen”.  The winner was revealed at the Publications Christmas Dance. – Child of the Church, p.287

1960 Phi Omicron Fraternity Christmas Dance2.  According to the 1961 yearbook, a Christmas dance was formerly held annually by the Phi Omicron fraternity.

3.  The Christmas Candlelight Service was traditionally organized annually by campus ministry. It began in 1982 and continued into the 1990s. The idea for the program originated with students, who wanted to "expand the Christmas service to create a worship experience, worthy of sharing as a gift, with the entire University community”. (Que, Nov. 30, 1990)

4.  Christmas on the Quad began in 1996. The lighting of the Christmas tree, nicknamed Bruce Spruce, is one of the key elements of this tradition.

5.  The Christmas Gala, first held in 2000, is a formal holiday party for UD faculty, staff, donors, and community leaders.

From the Que (1961)If you have any photos that you would like to share with the Archives concerning holiday traditions at UD, please contact us at or Meghann Toohey at 563-589-3778.

Happy Holidays from the Archives staff! 

Photos (right column, top to bottom):
Holiday Party (1957)
Phi Omicron Fraternity Christmas Dance (1960)
From the Que (1961)
Christmas on the Quad (n.d.)
Christmas on the Quad (n.d.)

Invitation to the Christmas on the Quad Concert (2010)

Click to read more UpDate articles.

Invitation to the Christmas on the Quad Concert (2010)

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