Holiday Tree Recognizes Gift of Veterans' Service

Published 12.02.2016


Navy veteran Jennifer L. Nicholson, an applied health studies: radiography concentration major from Lock Haven (and a Veterans Affairs work-study student in the college’s Financial Aid Office), adds the 2016 ball filled with the 120 ribbons sold by college veterans.With Old Glory appropriately waving above him, General Services horticulture technician Matthew P. Barrett ascends via bucket truck to those hard-to-reach spots.One of the tree's 401 stars, representing a self-identified veteran enrolled and/or employed at Penn College, is nestled among the branches.Bundled against the biting wind, Dennis L. Correll, associate dean for enrollment management, pitches in.As Friday dawned, the fully decorated tree stands in tribute to the college's military family.Veteran students and employees, joined by supportive Penn College colleagues, gathered in Thursday's dusky chill to adorn the Veterans Holiday Tree. Decorated for the third year, the Vanderwolf limber pine provides a tangible reminder of the servicemen and women across campus: more than 400 star-shaped ornaments are displayed near the entrance to the Student & Administrative Services Center. Tucked among the decorations are two glass balls containing hundreds of ribbons purchased during Veterans Club “Giving Tree” fundraisers in the past two seasons. People paid $1 each for ribbons inscribed with the names of family members or loved ones who served (or are serving) in various branches of the military, generating money for the Fisher House Foundation for veterans and their families. The holiday tree effort is spearheaded by veterans services specialist Chet Beaver.