Marshall to kick off season with Herd Holiday for community Dec. 1; faculty/staff event slated for Dec. 10

Kids of all ages from throughout the community are invited to join Marshall University for A Herd Holiday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 1, in the Memorial Student Center on the Huntington campus.

The special evening will feature the official holiday lighting on the student center plaza by First Lady Jo Ann White and incoming First Lady Leigh Gilbert, along with numerous activities, snacks, giveaways and music. The event is sponsored by Marshall’s Office of University Communications and the Campus Activities Board.

“After the success of A Herd Holiday last year, we knew we needed to host the event again and make it even better than before,” said Tiffany Davis, assistant director of communications at Marshall. “We are excited about the addition of the holiday tree on the plaza and the performances by our students in the School of Music and Theatre. We hope our students and the community enjoy this event as much as we do.”

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with performances by students from Marshall Theatre, Premiere Dance Studio and the Old Main Carolers. Then, First Ladies Jo Ann White and Leigh Gilbert will be on hand to flip the switch to light the Marshall University holiday tree.

HayesandWellman_2014After the lighting, everyone will move inside the student center for activities, music from Kelley’s Bridge and Marshall’s chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and snacks – including hot chocolate and s’mores. Other features include holiday ornament painting with the Pottery Place (the first 100 ornaments are free), a holiday photo booth and a Marshall Bookstore fashion show. The bookstore will remain open for holiday shopping and will offer a free gift with purchase, special coupon offers and giveaways throughout the evening. A lucky Marshall student will also win books for the spring semester, courtesy of the bookstore.

“This year, we have also added two holiday book readings in the Marshall Bookstore,” Davis said. “Mrs. White, Mrs. Gilbert and other members of the campus community will be reading holiday stories to children beginning at 6:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.”

Marshall University Athletics will be bringing student athletes for autographs and photo opportunities, schedule posters and special giveaways.

Holiday photos with Santa-Marco will be taken throughout the evening. They will be available for free downloads beginning Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Marshall international students will host Holidays Around the World, in which they will explain how the holidays are celebrated in their native countries. Marshall student organizations will take part in a gingerbread house decorating contest, and MU students will be available to assist children in writing their letters to Santa Claus and dropping them in his mailbox.

More information can be found at

  • Holidays Around the World, hosted by Marshall University International Students.
  • Gingerbread House Decorating Contest, hosted by Marshall University Student Organizations.
  • Letters to Santa. Students will be available to assist children with writing and mailing letters to Santa.
  • Coloring Station.
  • Giveaways, including a chance for students to win FREE BOOKS for the spring semester.

All guests are encouraged to use #HerdHoliday on social media to share photos or register to win gift cards and other merchandise throughout the event.


DaveandJackson_2014Family Holiday Party is Thursday, Dec. 10

President and Mrs. Gary White invite Marshall faculty and staff and their families to attend the annual Family Holiday Party from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, in the Don Morris Room of the Memorial Student Center.

Santa is expected to make an appearance at 5:45 p.m., giving children an opportunity to have their photos taken with him. In addition, there will be crafts, cookie decorating, a Lego presentation and lots of good food.

The cost of the event is underwritten by Sodexo. State funds will not be used.


Photos: (Above) Santa-Marco will be at the Dec. 1 Herd Holiday for pictures with the kids. (Center) Matt Hayes (left), executive director of alumni relations, and Dave Wellman, director of communications, made good use of the photo booth at the 2014 Herd Holiday. (Below) Dave Jarrell helps his son, Jackson, paint an ornament at 2014’s Herd Holiday.