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Higher Education News from the Collegiate Way

These news items about residential colleges, collegiate houses, and the renewal of university life are posted for readers of the Collegiate Way website. For more about residential colleges and collegiate universities please visit the main Collegiate Way page.

Tip-of-the-Month: Your Own Holiday Cards!

— Brighten the end of the year in your residential college with special holiday cards of your own devising (well, partly). Some colleges may have already begun their New Year’s break, but it’s not too late to make Christmas cards, New Year’s cards, or cards for any seasonal holiday of your choice. Do you need to spend hours cutting out pieces of construction paper and glueing folded snowflakes? No! Make use of the commercial machinery that probably lives right near you. Here’s how.

[Strong College holiday card]Choose a snapshot of a college holiday scene: your mascot (or the master?) in a Santa Claus hat, a pile of students bundled up in coats and scarves, a college snowman, or, for my antipodean colleagues, a college beach umbrella and a Christmas tree in the sand. Next, deliver said snapshot to your local one-hour photo shop and ask for a box of holiday cards made in the design of your choice. Most photo shops in the United States produce holiday cards of this kind very inexpensively, and you can order a large box to give away to your students. If some of them have already departed, send out cards from the college office this week to their home addresses for a guaranteed good impression.

I have used college cards of this kind very successfully in the past, and everyone has great fun setting up the scene for the annual picture. A sample Strong College card is available in the CSC albums section of the Collegiate Way website. Each year you can take a new picture and so begin a delightful and inexpensive tradition that will contribute to the happiness and self-identity of your college.

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© Robert J. O’Hara 2000–2021