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American Today

On Campus

AU Holiday Card Is All in the Family

By Sarah Stankorb


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Many families share an annual tradition of gathering around the kitchen table to prepare holiday cards — stuffing envelopes with snapshots, and signing, with love, best wishes for the year to come.

This November, the AU community collaborated on a similar holiday effort, with a twist. For AU’s second video card students donned scarves and hats and tossed prop snowballs on the quad. Tots from the Children’s Development Center “signed” the card with stickers. Clawed, who wished in 2010 for a Mrs. Clawed, may have found a chance at love during this year’s filming.

What did staff, faculty, and students gather to sign? A 24’ x 8’ card crafted by University Communications and Marketing’s design team. With all that space (yes, that’s feet) AU’s videographers, under the direction of Matt Fredericks, captured hundreds of wishes for the holiday season on nine hours of footage.

The result, “AU Wishes,” is a three-minute electronic greeting card that will be sent to 150,000 AU friends across the globe.

The card has an old-fashioned home movie feel created by using special lenses and a handheld camera. Fredricks was energized by the turn out on a cloudy day when skies threatened a downpour. He said the day was filled with positive energy, “everyone was fun to work with and playful and excited.”

Deborah Wiltrout, assistant vice president of marketing, relished how “entire classes, offices, clubs, and departments showed up to be part of the holiday video.” Her holiday wish? To spark a fun campus memory and maybe spark a holiday tradition.

Last year, AU’s first holiday video card was viewed 20,000 times in 108 countries, became a Washington, D.C., trending topic on Twitter, and was posted on thirty blogs. You can help spread the holiday spirit by sharing via Facebook and Twitter (#AUWishes).

Also catch a glimpse of yourself in a time lapse video that captured the days’ memories.