Our Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions

We hope everyone in the Woodward community experiences a joyful Thanksgiving break and a restful time with family and friends. With the holiday coming up, we reached out to a few Woodward leaders for some of their reflections on Thanksgiving and their favorite family traditions. If you'd like to share yours with us, please post on social media using #woodwardway. Happy Thanksgiving!

Woodward North Principal Beth Marien:

It's all about the family atmosphere!  Having my loved ones around me, taste-testing their favorite dishes as I cook and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving parade gives me great joy!

Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Life Marcia Prewitt Spiller:

My children both live out of town and they come home for Thanksgiving. My son brings his wife and two children and there is one rule by which I must abide:


For decades, I have prepared the same foods and they are the foods that my family loves. About five years ago, I decided to do something different -- you know, change it up a bit. Well, you would have thought I committed a felony.  The long sad faces, the disappointment, the questions, and the utter unhappiness resulted in me trying to cook another meal the next day.  So yes, I can experiment and try new things on other days, but the Thanksgiving menu is sacred:

Cranberry sauce
Spiced apples
Oyster Dressing
Collard greens
Green beans
Macaroni and cheese
Mashed potatoes
Hot rolls
Sweet Potato Pie topped with pecans and fresh whipped cream

That’s it.  No changes.  Set for life!

Chaplain Katie Kilpatrick:

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is traveling to visit family in Charleston, South Carolina (where my mother-in-law, father-in-law, and brother-in-law live). We wake up early on Thanksgiving to go for a family run over the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge before spending the day cooking with one another. After a delicious Thanksgiving dinner filled with laughter and memories, we continue our fellowship with a walk on the beach!

Vice President for Advancement Chris Freer:

Thanksgiving at our house has always started with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and has most recently revolved around football of some sort. We are either watching football games on TV, playing a pick-up game, or preparing for the Woodward War Eagles to compete in the state playoffs the next night...or all three. This year, we will add the Georgia vs. Tech game to our Thanksgiving tradition with our oldest on the Georgia Tech team. Go Jackets!

President Stuart Gulley:

In our family, the venue for our celebration changes from year to year depending on schedules of family members, but we are always with family, sharing a big meal and memories of years gone by. It is our favorite holiday, because it is low-key and relaxed.

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