Winter in the City theme for annual holiday celebration
Old acquaintances -- including colleagues we know only by telephone and e-mail -- will have the opportunity to meet and chat during the annual Holiday Party for Boston University faculty and staff members on Thursday, December 18.
"Winter in the City" will provide the theme of the traditional social gathering for all BU employees when festivities take place from 3 to 5 p.m. in the GSU's Metcalf Hall. Attendees will be eligible for door prizes, including gift certificates to Barnes & Noble at Boston University, a year of free on-campus parking, and tickets to the Boston Pops. Food, beverages, and good cheer will abound, together with music from Dan Bellomy, who will play the John R. Silber Symphonic Organ, which with 7,500 pipes is the largest symphonic organ in the world.
"Many employees talk to one another on the telephone, but they rarely have an opportunity to meet," says Thomas Bagarella, an employee relations representative at the Office of Personnel and chairman of the Holiday Party Committee. "This event gives everyone the opportunity to put names and faces together. More than 2,000 people show up every year."
Partygoers will be greeted by a familiar face: Rhett, the University's mascot, who recently celebrated his 75th birthday.
An ice-sculpture contest with entries representing the "Winter in the City" theme will give attendees the chance to vote on the creativity of four-person teams of employees-turned-ice-carvers. Facilities accommodating 15 carving teams will be available on the loading dock on the west (or University Road) end of the GSU. Teams can carve from 5 to 8 p.m. on one of the following days: Monday, December 15; Tuesday, December 16; or Wed-nesday, December 17. Actual carving time is usually less than the three hours allotted.
Carving tools and a 10" x 20" x 40" block of ice will be provided to each team, and the ice block can be used horizontally or vertically. "A professional ice carver from Brookline Ice Company will give advice and limited assistance," says Bagarella. "He'll use a chainsaw to assist people with the major cuts, but the entrants will be provided with chisels and carving forks to sculpt the details. By furnishing drawings and measurements of their proposed creations, teams will be helping the professional to help them. We ask everyone participating to bring ideas, energy, and excitement." Hot drinks will be served to the carvers, but warm clothing as well as waterproof gloves and boots are recommended. Those who want to enter a team in the contest should call David Zamojski at 353-3852 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Besides the partygoers' choice for best carving by means of popular vote -- there is a ballot box in front of every sculpture -- a separate poll by a group of University officials will determine a winning entry according to standards of originality, difficulty, execution, and relevance to the theme. Individual members of each winning team will receive gift certificates to Barnes & Noble at Boston University. No experience is necessary.
The Office of Conference Services garnered the popular vote in 1995 and 1996. Last year's "Home for the Holidays" theme prompted the team to carve a sculpture of a Victorian house with a Christmas tree in the front yard. A year ago a team consisting of staff from the Office of Internal Audit and the Office of University Relations warmed the judges' hearts with "Just Chillin'," a masterpiece of Santa Claus relaxing under a palm tree.
Shuttle buses for partygoers will leave the Medical Campus from the bus stop at the Atrium entrance to the Boston Medical Center East Newton Street Campus at 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. and will return from the GSU at 4:15 and 5:15 p.m.
"The party is the result of a concerted effort from several University departments," says Bagarella. "A lot of planning goes into it. Each year the Holiday Party Committee holds three or four meetings to discuss every aspect of the party and come up with new ideas." The committee consists of Bagarella, Josephine Tompkins, and Joanne Letty from the Office of Personnel, David Zamojski from the Office of Residence Life, Denise Mooney from the Office of Enrollment, Jennifer Schmidt and Donna Andrews from the Office of Conference Services, Laura Plant from the School of Medicine's Office of Personnel, Rick Shaughnessy and Ken Gasse from the Office of Dining Services, and Janice Ramsay from the Office of Business Affairs.
Bagarella says that chefs from the Office of Dining Services "will prepare a wide variety of dishes and desserts, and the 60 hosts and hostesses at the party will help the festivities run smoothly."