Friendsgiving is defined as a meal among friends during the Thanksgiving season. After that, there aren’t any rules to it. Technically, you don’t even need a turkey. The one constant, though, is the friends part. And if you’ve got 500 friends, dinner can take on an industrial scale.
For the last three years, Yale SOM has held a Friendsgiving event so big, it has to be held over two nights. The banquet includes all the school’s residence programs, and this year, 520 students participated. Planning for the dinner by the school’s Academic Affairs and Student Life department began in September and by the time the first students sat down, a true bounty had been assembled. The numbers were staggering: 500 pounds of turkey, 300 pounds of mashed potatoes, 25 gallons of gravy, 120 pies, and 60 gallons of apple cider.
Kit Heeley, associate director for student life, said while Friendsgiving is first and foremost a good time among friends, it serves other purposes as well. “It helps build community among students from all the varied programs,” he said. “And it introduces our many international students to this ultimate American tradition.”