There may be no better feeling than gift giving at the holidays, and with that in mind, Taylor Washing ’18 thought that her fellow students could share in the joy together.

“Every winter my K–12 school would have a gift exchange,” said Washing of Vail, Colo. “It was a great event that brought everyone in my school together, and I hoped it could do something similar at Colgate.”

Washing applied for funding from the Colgate Activities Board (CAB) to host a new campuswide gift exchange. CAB approved, and Washing set out to organize the secret exchange, where participating students only knew for whom they needed to get a present, and nothing else. Each person wrote the gift recipient’s name on the gift, and then their own name inside.

Students, from first-years to seniors, gathered at the Hall of Presidents on December 10 for the exchange, some holiday snacks, and a lot of smiles as they searched for their gifts.

Nicole Lue ’18, a neuroscience major from Rowayton, Conn., said the exchange was an awesome event.

“I was assigned a first-year girl I did not know and ended up making her a ‘finals survival pack,’ made up of a variety of snacks for those late nights during finals,” said Lue. “I received a great gift filled with candy and a holiday themed mug.”

Students gathered at the Hall of Presidents on December 10 for the gift exchange.

Students gathered at the Hall of Presidents on December 10 for the gift exchange (Photo by Anna Heil ’16)

She also gave credit to Washing and CAB for spreading holiday cheer. “Taylor and the rest of CAB did a really fantastic job organizing the event, ordering food, and creating a warm environment that enticed a lot of people to stay to talk, eat holiday cookies, and meet new people,” she said. “The event put everyone in the holiday spirit.”

For Washing, it was exactly what she had in mind.

“Colgate has a supportive community overall, but just like any other campus with busy college students, people tend to get wrapped up in their lives,” Washing said. “This event brought together people from all parts of campus, different activities, and grades to meet others and make someone’s day.”

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