The Holidays without BU Today’s Ugly Sweater Contest? Bah, Humbug
Students, faculty, and staff strut their seasonal finery
The holidays have arrived. It’s time to decorate the Christmas trees and light the menorahs. And so it must follow, as the night the day, that BU Today is once again sponsoring a holiday sweater contest. This year’s callout—our fourth—elicited responses from 17 BU students, faculty, and staff, who arrived at our photo studio last week in sweaters festooned with items from ornaments and snowmen to dreidels and penguins. Throw in a shark or two and the Dr. Seuss Grinch, and you get a sense of the range of this year’s holiday apparel. Take a look. These photos are sure to put you in a mirthful mood.
And don’t forget to check back at 1 pm to find out the three ugliest sweater prizewinners. Our thanks to all who took part and to photographers Cydney Scott and Jackie Ricciardi, who worked hard to pull it off.
Aiysha Barr, BU Academy administrative assistant and event coordinator
Why I love my sweater: I love this holiday sweater because it is so adorable. I decided to give the holiday sweater some glitter and shine.
Where I bought it and how much I paid: I borrowed the holiday sweater from a coworker who purchased it at Walmart years ago.
Allyson McHugh (SSW’22), Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders research technician
Why I love my sweater: It is an old “very nice” Christmas sweater that my mom bought in the ’80s. The collar and shoulder pads complete the look. I have worn it to Christmas parties for the last 10 plus years.
Where I bought it and how much I paid: It came from my parents’ attic, so I paid zero for it. My mom paid a lot for it when she bought it.
Mark Legg, School of Hospitality Administration assistant professor of hospitality analytics
Why I love my sweater: It reminds me of Mort from the movie Madagascar. I wanted to find a sweater that was creepy and cute, and this one fits the bill. It scares you a little bit, but at the same time it has this cuteness to it.
Where I bought it and how much I paid: I bought it on Amazon for $30.
Cecilia Yudin (CFA’09, MET’14, Questrom’23), Questrom Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion associate director
Why I love my sweater: It’s fabulous. I don’t consider it an “ugly” sweater at all. To me it feels like something out of the ’80’s—oversized, gaudy, and fun.
Where I bought it and how much I paid: I bought it in the Garment District. I can’t remember exactly how much I paid for it, but most likely it was under $40.
Katey Lesneski (GRS’20)
Why I love my sweater: The “great white sharkmas” shirt is a festive way to show my marine biologist pride around the holidays, and it usually leads to a good conversation about how and why sharks are actually such important animals in ocean ecosystems and that we need to ensure their long-term protection.
Where I bought it and how much I paid: A friend got it for me online. My guess is it was around $20.
Connor Dedrick (Questrom’21)
Why I love my sweater: All of my Christian friends get to have ugly sweater parties, but I never had a holiday sweater, so when I finally decided to go to one of the parties, I needed a sweater that could make up for the years of ugliness I missed.
Where I bought it and how much I paid: This is a sweater that was always in the family closet. No one knew where it came from, but if it fit, it was yours. It fits me, so now I’m stuck with it.
Kathryn (Katie) Hansen (CGS’18, COM’20)
Why I love my sweater: It’s a sweater vest like the ones Neil from the Santa Clause movies wore. My family and I have a running joke about Neil and his sweaters, so I thought it was funny. Elves are also my favorite characters of the season (aside from the jolly fella himself), including Buddy (Elf), Hermey the Misfit Elf (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer), and our own Elf on the Shelf character, Dexter, that we had growing up. Between the sparkle, the colors, and the elves, this sweater makes me smile every time I see it.
Where I bought it and how much I paid: I bought it at a thrift sale at my brother’s high school in Illinois a few years back and paid between $15 and 20 for it.
Yuna Yu (COM’20)
Why I love my sweater: It’s the first time I’ve owned an “ugly sweater” and it’s the first time I’m spending Christmas in the United States. I feel delighted to experience the culture of Christmas in Boston, and I love the accompanying balloon as well.
Where I bought it and how much I paid: I purchased it at the Target on campus and paid $27.99.
Kyle Benedict, Metropolitan College International program administrator
Why I love my sweater: It is just a fun way to be festive.
Where I bought it and how much I paid: Tipsyelves.com, on clearance last summer.
Bailey Katsumata-Smith (CAS’20)
Why I love my sweater: Everyone loves the Grinch: this is kind of a sassier version of a holiday sweater.
Where I bought it and how much I paid: It was a gift from my best friend.
Deni Budman (COM’20)
Why I love my sweater: It stands out because there aren’t as many Chanukah sweaters as there are Christmas sweaters. There’s nothing like eating a crispy latke (dipped in applesauce) while wearing a dancing latke sweater.
Where I bought it and how much I paid: It was a gift from one of my best friends at BU. We actually met on the first day of freshman year in our writing seminar, so it’s an extra-special friendship, and when I wear this sweater, it reminds me of her.
Dave Brown, College of Engineering Career Development Office assistant director, and Natasha Brown, Research Accounting senior research administrator
Why we love our sweaters: Our favorite Xmas movie is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It’s hilarious how Chevy Chase torments the yuppie neighbors Margo and Todd.
Where we bought them and how much we paid: We bought our sweaters on Amazon.com for $35 each.
Stephanie Garcia, School of Hospitality Administration marketing manager
Why I love my sweater: I scuba dive and I believe in protecting all sharks. Plus, I love the song “Baby shark doo doo doo doo doo doo.”
Where I bought it and how much I paid: I bought it at Target for $30.
Walter Von Bosau, Mugar Memorial Library Krasker Film/Video Services media resources coordinator
Why I love my sweater: I’ve run a Christmas blog for the last 11 years that highlights the stranger, weirder aspects of the season. I first found out about Krampus doing research for the blog, and over time he became our unofficial mascot. This was years before he became a pop culture icon during the season. So I had to have the sweater when I saw it. I wear it to all the holiday parties my friends have, and they’re disappointed if I don’t show up with it now.
Where I bought it and how much I paid: Shredders Apparel. This particular design is now out of print. It was $80.
Suzanne Bagnera, School of Hospitality Administration clinical assistant professor and chair of undergraduate programs
Why I love my sweater: My five-year-old son picked it out, saying that all of my other sweaters weren’t ugly enough since I never win any contests.
Where I bought it and how much I paid: Walmart, $19.96.
Heather Johnson (CAS’20)
Why I love my sweater: It is extremely over-the-top and it has a lot of spirit, but it is still so comfortable.
Where I bought it and how much I paid: It was gifted to me by my mom last Thanksgiving: everyone in my family has one in a different color.