American University sends holiday greetings via a charming video featuring student and faculty hopes for the New Year, while the College of William & Mary captures the beauty of the historic Wren Building in a watercolor rendered to the tune of "Home for the Holidays." In honor of the season, the University of Maryland sends viewers on a tour of the College Park campus as "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" plays in the background, and George Mason University premieres an original work titled “Love, Peace, and Joy,” composed by Michael “Doc Nix” Nickens of the GMU School of Music.
Colleges are making creative use of YouTube and other internet resources for extending warm holiday greetings this year. Some will give you an opportunity to see what the campus looks like during winter months, and others will introduce you to key administrative staff who just happen to play starring roles in the productions.
And the videos can be anything from earnest messages read by college presidents seated in front of oversized Christmas trees to humorous collages of campus and student life. In addition to the four mentioned above, here are my candidates for the best of the 2010 holiday videos:
- Beloit College: The squirrels are back. And while students, staff, and faculty are away, they have the campus to themselves.
- Carleton College: This is snow like you’ve never seen snow before, shown through a series of amazing photos taken by current students and supported by a wonderful performance of the Carleton College Singers.
- Carnegie Mellon University: More fantastic snow scenes provide the backdrop for a series of “plaid greetings” from members of the campus community.
- Concordia University: Comet the Golden Bear searches for the Christmas spirit and finds it!
- Eckerd College: President Eastman discusses how Eckerd students are “Thinking Outside for the Holidays” in sunny Florida.
- Flagler College: Students and staff send holiday greetings with lots of reminders about how nice the weather is in St. Augustine, Florida.
- Lawrence University: David Becker and the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra celebrate the season with a fantastic performance of “Hoedown,” by Aaron Copland.
- Lewis & Clark: Follow Pio, the adorable canine mascot, as he spreads holiday joy throughout the campus.
- Marquette University: Everyone from President Rev. Robert Wild to kids in the university daycare center sing snippets of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”
- Northeastern University: All “Paws” wants for Christmas is a black Huskies hockey jersey, and he goes to enormous lengths to find one.
- Penn State: Campus interviews are conducted by the Nittany Lion, in which the band director hopes for a Saturday morning rehearsal where everyone shows up on time and a bus driver hopes for more wins for his favorite team.
- Pitzer College: “’Twas the Night before Break” is read by President Laura Skandera Trombley, and we are assured that “absolutely no chickens, students or presidents were harmed during taping.”
- St. Olaf College: This video features extraordinarily beautiful campus scenes backed by the St. Olaf College Orchestra performing "Rejoice," an original work composed by orchestra conductor Steven Amundson.
- St. Peter’s College: “The 12 Days of Christmas” starts with 12 cups of coffee and ends with the Peacock putting a star up on the tree.
- Syracuse University “Hallelujah To Ya”: A “flash mob” performing the Hallelujah Chorus is orchestrated by the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra as a holiday gift to the Central New York Community.
- University of Washington: Students and staff are asked to describe 2010 in one word and then to project their hopes for 2011—also in one word. It was a challenge for English majors.
- Wittenberg University: A postcard rendition of “All Through the Hollow” brings holiday greetings based on the more familiar “Night Before Christmas.”
- Wofford College: Wonderfully off-tune renditions of "Jingle Bell Rock" convey humorous season’s greetings from staff and students.
Thank you to the many colleges that forwarded me copies of their videos. I enjoyed each and every one!
Best wishes to all for the Happiest of Holidays!
If you have some favorites I’ve left off, please feel free to leave links in Comments below.