Much to Be Thankful For at Gettysburg College

President Janet Morgan Riggs converses with students at Servo Thanksgiving (Photo Jamie Welch / The Gettysburgian)

Gettysburg College students, faculty, and staff have much to celebrate as they gather around Thanksgiving tables this year (File Photo Jamie Welch/The Gettysburgian)

By Julia Chin, Staff Writer

After Servo’s long-awaited Thanksgiving dinner last week, students are craving mashed potatoes, pumpkin-flavored everything, and a little slice of home more than ever. Plans are being made to go home for the holidays, catch up with old friends, or even have dinner with some professors, who have graciously opened their homes to long-distance students. Not even the upcoming forecast for snow flurries can stop the great migration over the Thanksgiving week.

Yet with all this excitement, surely there must be a reason for what makes Thanksgiving so special, what makes each of us truly thankful for both the small things and the big things that make us smile a bit more each day. In the pursuit of thankfulness, I asked a myriad of Gettysburg College students, faculty, and staff what they had to say in response to my inquiry. Here is what Gettysburg is thankful for:

Elizabeth Duquette: Associate Professor, English

“I’m always thankful for my dog. I feel incredibly lucky in my life, which is a little different from being thankful, but I am extraordinarily lucky to have a job that I love that is creative and that is intellectually exhilarating. And so, I feel lucky more than thankful. People pay me to read this stuff. How lucky is that?”

Erick Cabrera: Cinema and Media Studies, Political Science, and Philosophy ‘21

“I’m thankful for being the way I am.”

Benjamin Fruchtl: Music Education ‘20

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to be studying and learning what I love: teaching music. I am thankful for healthy relationships with friends and family, and I am thankful for the opportunity to grow in my faith.”

Regina Tyree: Dining Services

“I am thankful for the kids that come in and see me.”

Zachary DeBesche: Music ‘22
“I’m thankful that I go to a school that is challenging me. I’m thankful that I’m still close enough to be able to come and see my sister in her play and also that I’ve found groups on campus like choir that feel like a family.”

Leigh Richard: Philosophy ‘19

“I’m incredibly thankful for all of my wonderful professors for helping me through this pretty tricky first half of senior year.”

Robert Natter: Director of Choral Activities & Associate Professor, Music

“The funnest thing I do every day is making art with students, making music with talented singers. It’s the best part of my job!”

Kayl Murdough: Computer Science ‘21

“I’m thankful for kind and encouraging faculty and staff, especially in the Computer Science department.”

Joyce Topper: Facilities Services

“Three things I’m thankful for: the insurance, the help with the tuition from my daughter’s college, and I’m thankful I have a job with the college. I feel that I have been treated right.”

Zachary Wesley:  History & Anthropology ‘20

“I am thankful for all the friends I have, especially in DCF [Disciplemakers Christian Fellowship], and the great web of support and love that you see there. I am also thankful for all the great professors I’ve had and taken their classes.”

Sophia Bookas: Biology and Music ‘22

“I’m thankful for my dog Ginger, who is my biggest fan.”

Karla Rivera: Organization and Management Studies ‘19

“I am thankful for my older sister, Krissia. She is four years older and has always been like a role model to me.”

Paula Coscia: Dining Services

“I’m thankful for having a job at the college and getting to work with the students. I really enjoy it!”

Maci Mark: History ‘21

“I’m thankful that my family and friends back in California are safe from the fires.”

Mona Becker: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies

“I am thankful that we had a pretty good midterm election—took back the House—and that I get to travel.”

Brittney Sedgwick: Music Performance – Voice ‘21

“I’m thankful the sky is dark at night so I can see the stars.”

Marana Tso: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology ‘20

“I’m thankful for lots of friends and support and peace.”

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Author: Julia Chin

Julia Chin ‘21 is an English major and Music minor from the “Sunshine State.” Julia conforms to her major’s stereotypes by collaborating with The Mercury, carrying around her weight in books, and asserting her passion for tea and oxford commas; however, she occasionally breaks up the blissful silence of literature through swing dance, theatre rehearsals, and the music of College Choir and Spark Notes (the a cappella group, not the website for foolish children who wish to avoid reading).

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