2017 First Year Holiday Dinner

First-Year Holiday Dinners Delight in Yale On York


Commons may be closed for renovations, but traditions are being preserved. Last weekend, the annual First-Year Holiday Dinner took place at the new Yale On York venue for the first time instead of Commons – and it wowed all in attendance.

The Yale Class of 2021 enjoyed the new event space over the course of two nights – Friday, December 8th and Saturday, December 9th. All of the stops were pulled out for the experience, including the famous Procession of Comestibles half-way through the evening.

Students arrived dressed to the nines, ready to create memories. Their phones raised high in the air and their jaws dropped when the backdoors opened and drummers led by a drum major took the room by storm. The procession began with a 10-foot-long Challah bread, followed by mountains of turkey legs, endless slices of Beef Wellington, a Y-shaped Yule Log, and an ice sleigh loaded with shrimp. The desserts from the Yale Bakery were not to be missed, especially the raspberry mousse tartes that had everyone going back for seconds.

“The food was beautifully presented by very friendly staff,” Dan Nguyen, Pierson College 2021, said. “It was a great occasion to catch up with old friends and make new ones.” 

“The first-year dinner was all I was told to expect and more,” Laura Koech, Saybrook College 2021, commented. “I have just one word to say about the presentation: magnificent. I enjoyed myself thoroughly!”

Upper class students in attendance even said that the dinner in Yale On York rivaled their own first-year holiday meals in Commons in prior years.

“The 2017 First-Year Holiday Dinner was absolutely refreshing!” Faith Chumo, Hopper College, 2020, said. “We all miss Commons terribly, but there was just something amazing about the space at 150 York that gave the event a very modern and crisp vibe. I also enjoyed the fact that the event was split into two groups. It gave everyone a more intimate setting to make new acquaintances and reduced the waiting time to get into the building or get food.”

There was something for everyone, from the holiday décor and the music piped in over the new, state of the art sound system, to the menu that took student nutritional and allergy needs into account. The dinner was a team effort on behalf of Yale Hospitality, pulling together Dining and Catering to create the memorable student event.

Senior Director of Yale Dining Adam Millman said, “The absence of Commons allowed us the opportunity to reimagine the format of the First-Year Holiday Celebration. It was important to preserve memorable moments like the Procession of Comestibles, while creating new traditions that made this celebration just as special as past ones. At the end of each night, seeing the excitement on the students’ faces reassured us that this year’s dining team once again helped create lasting memories.”    

Christian Fischer, senior director of Auxiliary, Catering and CSC (Culinary Support Center), said, “My team and the Yale Dining team went above and beyond for this event, from the decorations to the food and the Comestibles. I am confident that everyone who attended will be carrying this dinner with them for a long, long time.”

With Commons closed for renovations for the next three years, Yale On York has become the go-to venue for departmental holiday parties, the upcoming Yale Model UN Conference, plated faculty dinners, and more.

If this year’s First-Year Holiday Dinner is any indication, the Yale Classes of 2022 and 2023 have a lot to look forward to.


Scroll down to see some photos from these events:

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