Dec. 12, 2012

Holiday poinsettia tradition connects students and Geneseo community


Linda House, Distinguished Service Professor and chair of the Department of Communicative Disorders and Sciences, receives a poinsettia plant from a member of the Undergraduate-Alumni Alliance on Dec. 4. The UAA has remembered members of the Geneseo community who have passed with the Poinsettia Memorial Project since 1988. /PHOTO BY KEITH WALTERS '11


For 24 years, students in the Undergraduate-Alumni Alliance have shared the holiday spirit on campus by remembering members of the Geneseo community through the Poinsettia Memorial Project.

On Dec. 4, UAA President Kate Gallo '13, UAA Traditions Challenge Coordinator Melanie Cera '14 and other students visited every department and office on campus to deliver a bright red poinsettia plant, tagged in memory of faculty, staff, emeriti and friends of the college who have passed in the year. Students gather at McClellan House the night before delivery to tag the plants. They always play holiday music, says Cera.

It is one of the most popular UAA projects, says alliance advisor Tracy Gagnier '93, assistant director of alumni relations. The UAA and the project is supported by the Geneseo Alumni Association.

"The project really encompasses what our organization is really about — connecting current students to the school community and the alumni community," says Cera. "Remembering alumni and others in this way makes us, as future alumni, feel like Geneseo is a bigger entity than just a college. It is a place where you will leave a legacy, where someone, some day, will remember you fondly, and where there is always a place to come home to."