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MCCC Holiday Tree Reminds Us 'We Are Not Alone'
Floral Design Students Add to Display with Photo Station

12/14/18


MCCC family celebrates and remembers. "We are not alone," said SGA Vice President Laura Ceras (pictured to the left of the tree in white).

Staff member Stacy Denton adds a decoration. All are invited to decorate the tree to remember or honor a loved one.

As part of their Floral Design class, students built a trellis and other festive adornments perfect for a holiday pic.

West Windsor, N.J. – Mercer County Community College (MCCC) students and staff have added special meaning to the tradition of tree decorating during the holiday season.

MCCC’s holiday tree, located on the second floor of the Student Center, has been designated as a Tree of Remembrance and Celebration of Life.

At a special ceremony on Dec. 10, the Mercer family had an opportunity to memorialize and honor loved ones by adding personalized ornaments to the tree.

MCCC President Jianping Wang welcomed all who gathered and read a poem she wrote when dear friends of hers lost their child.

Then, student Laura Ceras spoke to the group on behalf of the Student Government Association. (Ceras serves as SGA vice president.) “During this time of year, it can be extremely hard for those who are missing family and friends," she said. "This tree represents the love we have for one another and reminds us that no matter what, we are not alone and that we are all family.”

According to Dr. Wang, the tree project was designed as a way for MCCC students and staff members to acknowledge their feelings of sadness and loss during this traditionally joyous time of year. “We wanted everyone to have a way to pay tribute to those we hold deep in our hearts even as we celebrate at this time of year," she said.

"At Mercer, we are a village -- students, faculty members, and staff ," Dr. Wang continued. "Some people are in pain during the holiday season as they deal with grief over those they have lost. By hanging an ornament, they have an opportunity to acknowledge their grief and to celebrate life. By sharing our pain with others, we connect with each other in a powerful way."

The response to the tree has been very extremely positive, with many students and staff members adding ornaments in just the first 24 hours. All are welcome to continue to place ornaments on the tree through next week. The tree is located in the hallway above the Welcome Center atrium on the West Windsor Campus. Ornament materials are available in the alcove near the tree.

Adding to the festive scene this week is an installation by instructor Deb Moyer's Floral Design class. Each student created an element of the display, which includes a birch trellis, a sled and various containers – all adorned with holiday greens and flowers. Students and staff are invited to take a selfie or gather as a group for a holiday photo opp.


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