Polar Express event at UA Wayne College brings holiday spirit to students and staff


The Polar Express event at The University of Akron Wayne College, held on December 4th, offered students a chance to de-stress and get into the holiday spirit before finals week. During the event, students visited various stations throughout campus to pick up some treats, decorate cookies, make an ornament, and build a perfect hot cocoa along with other activities. Students also picked up a ticket in the library to get stamped at each station. The completed tickets could then be entered in a drawing for one of three gift baskets, courtesy of the Social Work department. Many of the staff and faculty on campus participated as well, staffing their stations, wearing their jammies and enjoying the fun atmosphere with the students.

The event was coordinated with PJ story time and the Caring Therapy Canines in the library. “The therapy dogs (and their people) from Caring Therapy Canines are one of our most popular program offerings in the library,” said Library Director Maureen Lerch. “The week before finals traditionally is one of the more stressful weeks in the college calendar. Students are either settling into final exam study mode or they have a handful of projects due. Offering drop-in stress relieving programs not only helps students and faculty with their stress, but also puts our support services right in their sightlines so they know we are here to help them through these last hurdles,” Maureen said.

The UA Wayne Polar Express event began last year as a hot cocoa bar in the college’s Smucker Learning Center. The Events and Activities Committee agreed to expand it to a campus-wide event this year, similar to its annual Halloween event (now known as HalloWayne). “We are working to increase the number of activities and events on campus for student engagement, so our students have more reasons to stay on campus or come to campus for special events,” said Wendy Hanzel, Marketing Specialist.

Even when there are no special events, there are still plenty of things to do between classes. Athletes and gamers can flex their muscles in the cardio, weight, and game rooms. Those who enjoy the outdoors can take advantage of the nature trails and walking paths on the beautiful campus grounds. UA Wayne is dedicated to helping its busy commuter students balance work, school and life, and is focused on building a fun and vibrant campus for students to make new friends while enjoying a small and friendly college atmosphere.

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UA Wayne’s Student Services staff welcomed students with candy and trivia sheets.

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Students enjoyed decorating their “Zippy” ornaments at the Social Work department’s station.

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The staff in the Smucker Learning Center offered a hot cocoa bar with cookies.

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The Nursing department hosted a cookie decorating station.

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Students entered their stamped tickets in a drawing for one of three gift baskets.


All the dogs from the Caring Therapy Canines, including Frannie (pictured above), wore their holiday best during their visit to the Wayne College Library.