Troy University’s Dothan Campus kicked off the holiday season with its biggest Festival of Trees to date.
The annual event centers on a Christmas tree competition between various departments across campus, with faculty, staff and students contributing trees with decorations reflecting their work and personalities.
“This is just a really good way that the staff, faculty, students and administration can come together with fellowship, eat and be merry,” said Elizabeth Dill, the Dothan Campus’ Director of Library Services, which sponsored the event. “This allows us to be together, talk and catch up on what’s going on around campus and in our lives.”
Visitors voted on this year’s tree selection, choosing the College of Education as the overall winner.
This year’s event also featured a dessert competition voted on by a panel of judges that included staff members and a student. Jean Shepherd won for best presentation, while Leigh Ann Hewes won for best taste.
Students who submitted votes for the tree competition were automatically entered into a drawing featuring giveaways from Newk’s, McDonald’s, Walmart, Circle K, Cheeburger Cheeburger, AMC Theatres and Massage Envy.
“It’s my first one, as I’ve only been a faculty member since September” said Dr. Sam Booker, Director of School Counseling, who spearheaded the work on the winning College of Education tree. “In my department, they’ve been amazing and welcoming, but I have found through this Christmas event that everybody at the campus has been the same way. It’s been a great experience.”
Booker said the event reminded her of the family atmosphere TROY fosters.
“I like it because it doesn’t put us into silos,” she said. “Though we are all unique to our departments, we are still a team. It’s nice to see the place I chose for my career is somewhere everybody has the same ideals that I do.”
Amber Pittman, Administrative Assistant for Vice Chancellor Dr. Don Jeffrey, handled much of the event’s organization.
“We wanted to get the students involved this year,” she said. “We wanted to give them a reason to join us, and we definitely want to thank our wonderful sponsors for making the giveaway possible.”
A photo gallery from the event can be seen below.