Reimagining Our Holiday Traditions

Dear Orange Friends:

Like many of you, I look forward to the holiday season every year. It is a time to enjoy our beloved traditions with family and friends and discover new ones. The pandemic has forced us to do everything differently, including how we celebrate this time of year. I am so very proud of our creative faculty, staff and students who are reimagining ways for the Orange family to experience our cherished traditions in the era of social distancing.

On Sunday, Dec. 6, students, faculty and staff at the Setnor School of Music in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and Hendricks Chapel presented the first-ever virtual “Holidays at Hendricks.” More than 2,800 members of the Orange family, including alumni, tuned in to the virtual broadcast. It featured extraordinary performances from student and faculty organists and singers, the Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra, the Syracuse University Singers, the Crouse Chorale and Setnor Sonority. It was both moving and inspiring. It took an incredible effort to pull this off for all of us to enjoy. If you have not watched it yet, or would like to watch again as I do, you can visit Hendricks Chapel’s web page.

In past years, Syracuse Stage has delighted us with holiday productions like “Elf-The Musical,” “A Christmas Carol” and “A Christmas Story.” This year, theaters across the country, including Syracuse Stage, are unable to host their traditional lineup of programs. Beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 15, and running through Sunday, Jan. 3, Syracuse Stage will present “Home for the Holidays,” featuring music, dance and storytelling through the eyes and experiences of the performers. This year’s performance includes students from VPA’s Department of Drama. Information about the show can be found on the Syracuse Stage website. I will be watching from home, and I invite you to do the same.

All year, we have seen the Syracuse University community rise to meet challenges with grit and grace. These creative approaches are just some of the many ways the Orange community is finding opportunities where others see obstacles. These traditions are an important part of the fabric of our community. I hope you find time to enjoy these wonderful performances.

I wish you and yours a healthy, happy and peaceful holiday season.


Kent Syverud




Chancellor Kent Syverud