About 750 members of the Fresno Pacific University community sat down around tables in the Special Events Center November 22 for the annual Thanksgiving Lunch.

Students, faculty, staff, administrators and board members dug into traditional Thanksgiving meals of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pie in the Special Events Center. The athletics department won the table decorating contest and took home the official turkey trophy.

Highlights included the traditional parade of nations, where students carried the flags of their homeland to represent the 32 countries currently sending students to FPU. New this year was a chance for offices and individuals to put together a box for Operation Christmas Child, through Samaritans Purse International Relief. Student Maria Mejia-Ng spoke about getting Operation Christmas Child boxes as a child in Nicaragua. A total of 26 boxes of toys, hygiene items, school supplies and sometimes personal prayers and notes were donated.

Speakers included President Richard Kriegbaum, Ph.D.; Dale Simmons, Ph.D., interim provost/senior vice president; and University Pastor Angulus Wilson, Ph.D. Music was provided by Walter Saul, D.M.A., organ, and the Symphonic Band, under the direction of Erik Leung, D.M.A. The school song was led by Bethany Alvey, D.M.A. Saul, Leung and Alvey are all music faculty.