Every year, on the Monday after Thanksgiving, we decorate Waldemere, the President’s house, for the holidays. We are preparing for seasonal events and especially the President’s annual holiday party for donors and others who have supported UB during the year.
In the fall, Denise Pundy, Keisha Cox, and I get together to plan the decorations and music, and we develop a buffet menu with Catering Manager Craig Ronson and Chef Ken Scalzo from Sodexo. The University Singers, under the direction of Prof. Frank Martignetti, are invited to present a short concert at the party, and then to lead our several hundred guests in what is always an inspired singalong.
The warm atmosphere reminds everyone that they are the UB family, and guests have been known to spontaneously break into dance – if they can find space in the crowd – in response to the festive music produced by our faculty-led trio.
What is a plan without execution? In past years our ambitious decorating designs often required three or more days to complete. But we gained from experience and created a team – Denise Pundy and Keisha Cox from Special Events, a special detachment from DTZ, and myself – with each person contributing sweat, skills, and enthusiasm.
Though our theme changes from year to year, cheerful collaboration now allows us usually to finish decorating in a single day. By late afternoon, we are tired but filled with holiday spirit.