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Happy holidays from your friends at The Consortium!

Happy holidays to our friends and the entire extended Consortium family.

2015-holiday-party-tableIt’s the end of another productive year for The Consortium. We’re grateful for the work of all our students and alumni, the members of our Board of Trustees and the Corporate Advisory Board, the representatives from our member schools and, of course, the dedicated staff of The Consortium.

It’s become something of a holiday tradition at The Consortium to capture a holiday picture of the team. Check out the picture at the top of the page to see who’s who:

Seated: Monica Black, Janice Wells-White, D-Lori Newsome-Pitts, Jeff Farris, Paige Wheeler, Karen Stocking.
Standing: Peter Aranda, Glenn Wilen, Travis McAlister, Dedric McCall, Anthony Davis, Diane Harris, Danni Young, Angie Holland, Kurt Greenbaum, Jim Ott, Glenda Hibbert.
Not pictured: Abbey Martinez, whose due date was two days before this photo was taken.

Speaking of holiday traditions

Peter Aranda playing Santa Claus at the holiday luncheon on Dec. 16, 2015.
Peter Aranda playing Santa Claus at the holiday luncheon on Dec. 16, 2015.

We asked the team to share their favorite holiday traditions from their own family with us. Here are their replies.

Anthony J. Davis, vice president, development: “My favorite holiday tradition occurred in my younger years. After we would decorate the entire house about 10 days before Christmas. We would count down the days. And Christmas morning I would experience the magic. After not being able to sleep the night before, I would come down stairs only to discover that I had a visit from Old St. Nick. with most of the things I had requested. Those were the days.”

Monica Black, director, development: “Christmas lights in all different colors! I remember my Dad driving our family, my Mom, and my brother, all night to get to my grandmother and grandfather’s house and no matter how late we would arrive, sometimes 3 a.m. Those big old fashioned lights would be all over the outside of house, welcoming us home and letting me know Christmas and family time was here! Those beautiful lights and memories are my treasured gifts!”

Janice Wells-White, vice president, program administration: “Every holiday, I order Garrett’s popcorn for our household. On Christmas morning my husband and I sit on the floor opening presents while eating Garrett’s famous ChicagoMix (caramel and cheese) popcorn and listening to our favorite holiday music. While the tradition is simple, it allows us to share two of our favorite things — my love for music and his love for Garrett’s. It’s also our first tradition as a married couple.”

Abbey Martinez, director, conferences and events: “We celebrate our ‘Christmas’ on Christmas Eve with making our favorite appetizers and a potato soup. Then we have our Christmas Eve appetizer feast followed by opening presents around 10 p.m. It was a tradition that started with my parents allowing us to open one gift on Christmas Eve and then we had to wait until Christmas morning for the rest. However, one year, we opened one present at 6 p.m. and then convinced them to open another at 6:30 p.m. and by 7:30 p.m. all of the presents were OPEN! From then on, we would always open on Christmas Eve and a new tradition was created.”

D-Lori Newsome-Pitts, director, individual giving, student and alumni relations: “My favorite holiday tradition is to purchase a special ornament and add it to the tree. I purchased my first tree eight years ago. From that year until now, I have always purchased a special ornament. The first ornament I purchased was from Crate and Barrel. It is a penguin that has a clear belly with little white beads inside. The year I purchased this ornament was also the first Christmas my husband and I celebrated as a married couple, so it is just really special. That ornament always reminds me of the years and how far we have come.”

Glenda reacts after Danni "stole" the St. Louis Cardinals scarf she had won in the white elephant gift exchange.
Glenda reacts after Danni “stole” the St. Louis Cardinals scarf she had won in the white elephant gift exchange.

Danni Young, director, recruiting: “Our family tradition during the holiday season is the celebration of Kwanzaa. In the African community, the celebration of Kwanzaa is a time of reflection, recommitment and remembrance of our ancestors. There are seven guiding principles for each day. My favorite principle is Kujichagulia…which means self-determination. Kwanzaa runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1. Happy Kwanzaa, everyone!”

Glenda Hibbert, development services coordinator: “Since our children’s very first Christmas, I have traditionally bought them a Christmas ornament. The ornament generally signifies something that took place in their lives that year, and I make sure to date them. Their collections go with them as they move out on their own so that they can take the memories of their childhood Christmases with them to display on their own Christmas trees.”

Jeff Farris, senior manager, database operations: “Baking for family and friends. It’s the only time of year that I make certain recipes.”

Angie Holland, administrative coordinator: “La Posadas … with the aging of my uncles and aunts, the tradition of visiting each house has taken its toll. Instead, everyone comes to my parents’ house on Christmas Eve bringing a covered dish. We play games, play music and have a wonderful time into the early Christmas morning. We also celebrate Three Kings Day. It’s always a nice surprise to wake up to one more special gift that may have been missed at Christmas.”

Karen Stocking, senior manager, accounting: “I really enjoy family time during the holidays. We all come together for food and fun. We eat, play games and laugh. It’s always a good time!”

Kurt Greenbaum, director, communications: “My wife and I hang two small green bows, tied from cloth ribbon we bought at a drug store, on our Christmas tree every year. They’re the last two bows we still have from many years ago, on our first Christmas together. We didn’t have any Christmas tree ornaments and we tied red and green bows from the cloth ribbon onto the tree to decorate it. We managed to keep two of the bows and they get prominent places on our tree every year now.”

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