This December, the Penmen Press has launched a storytelling initiative #CelebrateSNHU to share the holiday traditions of SNHU students, faculty and alumni. Kicking off these stories is President Paul LeBlanc who highlighted his family’s Christmas tradition of decorating their tree while listening to John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas” and wearing their reindeer antlers.

As we enter the holiday season, multiple events exist on campus to celebrate the traditions, holidays and diversity of the SNHU Community. President LeBlanc discussed the importance of this December focus.

“There is wisdom in the faith traditions of others, learning to be had in the practices and rituals of other cultures. My hope is that as members of a university community, we bring curiosity and humility to our engagement with others, a desire to learn more and a willingness to accept that others do things differently – not better or worse – but differently. My family celebrates Christmas in its own quirky ways, and I delight in hearing how others do it, as well as the ways of the Seder or Eid or Kwanza or any number of other religious/holiday cultural practices. These practices help define and bind a community.”

#CelebrateSNHU aims to bring more voices to the conversation and expand how we all see the holiday season. “Fundamentally, a university education should broaden one’s perspective and open the world,” said LeBlanc. “One of SNHU’s particular strengths is the diversity of its populations, and I wish we could encourage our American students (and all our students for that matter) to take better advantage of that fact. If you grew up in a town where everyone was largely the same and attended a high school in which everyone looked like you and mostly thought like you… you have the world at your fingertips here on SNHU’s campus. More than 60 countries represented, every religion, different ways of seeing the world. For the student willing to dive in, make friends, and reach out, there is so much learning and growth then possible.”

This holiday season, we encourage the SNHU Community to join us as we celebrate SNHU, by sharing your own traditions, pictures and stories with the hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. LeBlanc shares these final words to guide SNHU during the holiday season:

“We are living in a time when our civic discourse is often mean spirited and intolerant, when shouting overpowers meaningful discussion, and when kindness often seems in short supply.  SNHU is a community built on caring, on kindness and taking good care of others.  Are we always perfect at it? Of course not. But my wish is that we can hold up those values and our ways of being with each other in ways that will inspire others. It’s hopelessly simple, I know, but it’s a message of love and kindness.”

Leave a Reply