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‘Winterfest’ rings in the holidays with snow, sleighs and Santa Claus

Santa Claus greeted children to collect their Christmas lists at Chapman’s annual Winterfest and Doy’s Holiday Tree Lighting Nov. 15. Photos by Catie Kovelman

Chapman welcomed the winter season with a holiday tree lighting, Santa Claus and snowfall in the 65-degree Attallah Piazza Nov. 15.

Winterfest and Doy’s Holiday Tree Lighting is Chapman’s annual celebration of the winter holidays. Before the event officially started, students and other members of the Chapman community took photos with snowmen, a white sleigh and posed on Santa’s throne.

Theater professor Michael Nehring, who hosted the Nov. 15 event, was joined on stage by University President Daniele Struppa, Struppa’s family, Trustee Emeritus Doy Henley, and Pete the Panther.

The show was hosted by theater professor Michael Nehring and included a musical accompaniment from the Chapman University Big Band and Jazz Combo, which was conducted by music professor Albert Alva. The band performed holiday music throughout the event and was joined by soloists Maddie Bourgeois, a junior at Orange County School of the Arts, ‘15 alumnus Luke Carlsen, ‘17 alumnus Jeffrey Goldberg and senior strategic and corporate communications major Anna Turkisher.

Dee the Panther, which was named after Trustee Emeritus’ Doy Henley’s wife, Dee Henley, climbs up the side of Beckmen Hall. Dee the Panther is lit every year as part of the tree lighting.

University President Daniele Struppa was invited on stage, along with his family and Chairman Emeritus Doy Henley to light the tree and “Dee the Panther,” a panther statue named after Henley’s late wife, which is perched near the top of Beckman Hall.

The event concluded with Santa’s arrival and a campus snowfall.

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