With bittersweet determination, President Elizabeth Kiss announced her resignation from the college’s president after 12 years of serving this position. This year’s tree-trimming party, though accompanied by a similar crowd of people and the same ornaments, felt a bit more sentimental than before. A few months after last year’s party, President Kiss moved into a new house on the same street. Many international students, no matter returning or new, were having a lovely adventure in the new space.
To commemorate this last party with President Kiss, international students from all class years composed handwritten thank-you letters and bound them up into a pamphlet. Every page in that pamphlet is heavily loaded with indispensable memories at the Agnes Scott under President Kiss’s leadership. Being the extremely honored one who presented this pamphlet to the President, I was the closest witness of her exhilaration upon receiving it. She contended to us how special of a group the international students have always been and wished that her successor will continue with this beautiful tradition of decorating Christmas trees together.
When every piece of ornament is beautifully hung on the tree, we sat together in a circle to sing festive songs from different cultures. Among all, the ones that we could dance to it were the most popular. Many of the seniors there just realized that this party was their fourth and last time; somehow “graduating” with President Kiss just made us even more sentimental about the upcoming commencement in May.
Although the first few days of this December has been gentle, heavy snow just struck the campus on the second Friday of this month. Holiday season is here with the campus turning into a winter wonderland; Christmas trees, Jewish Hanukkah displays, and several acknowledgements of different holidays in the dining hall remind everyone of the festive traditions in various places in the world. Under President Kiss’s Christmas tree we cuddle, smiles and joyous spirits from faraway gather, in celebration of the sense of home at Agnes Scott.