By Lindsay Perry
The gifts exchanged during this month’s Peanut Week were not extravagant—some doughnuts or candy, maybe a coloring book or a coozie.
But the longtime William Peace University tradition, which took place Feb. 8 to 12, was big on bringing students together.
“My favorite part about Peanut Week was being able to interact and give gifts to someone I don’t interact with on a daily basis,” said Peanut Week participant Nicole Phillips, a sophomore.
Peanut Week is one of William Peace University’s oldest traditions. Peanut Week started back in the early 1950s as a way for Peace students, faculty and staff to exchange gifts with a secret pal in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day.
“Peanut” is used a term of endearment meaning friend, or pal. After signing up for Peanut Week, students are assigned a “peanut” and every day of the week, they drop a small gift in Main Parlor that their peanut will pick up during the afternoon. On the last day of the week, they will reveal themselves to their peanut and give them their final gift.
“Peanut Week is a time for meeting new friends in unexpected gift giving at Peace,” said freshman Tanner Brown, who brought his peanut a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts one day. “I enjoyed walking into the main parlor and feeling the thrill of opening my first gift.”
Dawn Dillon, class of 1986 and the Director of Retention and First-Year Experience, has been participating in Peanut Week since she was a student and continues to participate as a faculty member.
“Peanut Week is a great opportunity to get to know another person and participate in a Peace tradition that is about getting together as a community,” Dillon said. “It’s fun to see people get excited to see what they get each day and to meet your peanut at the end of the week.”
The gifts don’t have to be expensive—they can be homemade or cheap small gifts. Some of the places that Dillon recommends are The Dollar Store, the Target dollar sections or the gift sections at Michael’s and A.C. Moore.