WMU News

International students discover American holiday tradition

Nov. 26, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Members of the Kalamazoo community are invited help Western Michigan University celebrate Thanksgiving for international students at a special on-campus dinner from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, in the Wesley Foundation.

The annual International Student Thanksgiving Dinner is one way WMU shows international students that they are a valuable part of the University community. It is being held the weekend after Thanksgiving this year to help liven up the campus for the students, most of whom will not be going home during the holiday break.

The event is designed to involve international students and their families and American friends in a truly "All-American" holiday and as well as to foster cross-cultural understanding, goodwill, unity, peace and the spirit of thankfulness. About 150 people are expected to attend this year's celebration, which will feature a typical Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings, music, "thank you" testimonials, poems and cultural exchanges.

"Thanksgiving is an occasion when most Americans spend time with family and friends," event organizers say. "We intend to provide a similarly warm celebration for our international students, whose families are often thousands of miles away from Kalamazoo."

Students attending the dinner celebration will be admitted free. To offset the cost of conducting the event, however, members of the Kalamazoo and University communities are asked to make a tax-deductible contribution and sponsor one or more students. Nonstudents may attend the celebration by purchasing a $10 ticket. Starting Monday, Nov. 25, tickets may be picked up at the International Worship Office, which is located in Room 1140 of Kanley Chapel.

Those interested in making a donation should make their checks payable to International Worship at WMU and write "Thanksgiving dinner 2002" on the memo line. Donations should be sent to: International Worship, 1140 Kanley Chapel, WMU, Kalamazoo, MI 49008.

For more information, contact Rev. Mlen-Too Wesley, chairperson of this year's Thanksgiving celebration committee, at (269) 387-2218.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400