One of my favorite traditions at William & Mary occurs every December right before we head off for Winter Break. Yule Log is when William & Mary students crowd into the Wren courtyard to hear different student speakers share a bit about their holidays and also give messages for the coming new year from their faith or cultural traditions. For me this part of Yule Log is powerful, because it visually displays the wide array of beliefs and cultures present on campus, and gives us all a chance to learn from each other as we forge ahead into a new year. As a sucker for inspirational quotes, I also just enjoy hearing what each student speaker has determined is the best summary or hope for he future.
After the student speakers, the long awaited story time comes. President Reveley comes out of the Wren, dressed as Santa Claus, and reads How the Grinch Stole Christmas to a cheering crowd of students. There are cookies and cider, and everyone gets a sprig of holly as Reveley delights. If you’ve ever heard President Reveley speak to a crowd, then you will understand why this is such a spectacle. If you haven’t, you will soon understand. President Reveley is a national treasure, and a campus celebrity!
The sprigs of holly are put to use when everyone lines up to enter the Great Hall of the historic Wren building and toss their sprig into the burning fireplace. The toss is supposed to symbolize the end of a year and a fresh start to the new one. As you walk through the hall, you can take a moment to reflect on the events of the past year, absorb some of the energy in the room, and mentally prepare for upcoming final exams. Yule Log is a treasured tradition here at William & Mary, and I hope you get to experience it with us next semester!
-Alex Yeumeni ’18