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Santas and Students Hail Holiday Season at Campus Party

  • Repelling students dressed as Santa

    The Santas, Caitlin Reilly ’17 and Catie Morris ’17, are strapped in and ready to rappel.

  • A student a cappella group provides musical offerings.

    A student a cappella group provides musical offerings.

  • College Union Board members Susanna Kyler ’19, Sana Alimohamed ’17 and London Judge ’17 are elfed-up.

    College Union Board members Susanna Kyler ’19, Sana Alimohamed ’17 and London Judge ’17 are elfed-up.

  • Klara Manz-Siek pulls Caitlin Reilly ’17 in a test of paddleboard transport

    Klara Manz-Siek pulls Caitlin Reilly ’17 in a test of paddleboard transport.

  • Repelling students dressed as Santa

    Catie Morris ’17 drops in on a Union Café diner during a test run.

Davidson students must have been especially good this year, because it took two Santas to work the crowd at the annual Campus Christmas Party.

Choirs on the main level of the Alvarez College Union offered carols as the building filled with students seeking holiday cheer. Members of the Union Board wearing elf costumes passed out candy canes.

At the designated hour, all eyes turned upward as two Santa figures stepped onto platforms against the rails on the top floor of the union. Securely tethered, they stepped from their stage out into the void, waving to the cheering crowd and executing some Cirque de Soleil dance moves as they slowly rappelled to the atrium floor three stories below.

The Santa-suited stars of the show were seniors Caitlin Reilly '17 and Catie Morris '17, veterans of many descents from high and wild places as president and vice-president of Davidson Outdoors (DO). The Santa role in the pageant is an honor traditionally reserved for DO's top officers.

"This is our final act as DO leaders," Reilly said. "They're sending us off!"

The pair's exit from the party was as creative as their high-wire entry. Lacking reindeer, they unhooked from their harnesses and stepped onto paddle boards custom tethered to dollies, then paddled their way to the exit.

Union Director William Brown said the campus Christmas party tradition began on solid ground in 1985. Two years later the show began featuring Santa's big entrance. In fair weather, the party convenes on the front lawn of Chambers Building to witness a 50-foot rappel. The shindig retreats indoors to the union in foul weather, which was the case this year.

The Santas said their wish lists, other than starring roles in the party, include camping equipment. They assumed most of their fellow students would be content with good grades and a long holiday of rest.

They'll get that soon. Fall term exams run from Dec. 9-15, and students have four weeks off before classes resume Jan. 17.


Bill Giduz
bigiduz@davidson.edu
704-894-2244