As we recognize the season of giving thanks, sharing time with family and friends, reflecting on the moments that make life special, and perhaps eating too many slices of Grandma’s homemade pie, Emory Business takes pause to celebrate. We share these thoughts and cherished traditions from our faculty, staff, and students.

As holidays come and go, generations of family members make memories around the table in unique ways. For the family of Erin Igleheart, Start:ME program director, one fun tradition begins by making a thankfulness turkey to share with her “sweet, silly, and super curious little boys.”

During the month of November and on Thanksgiving, “each kid shares what they’re most thankful for that day,” she explains. “You get a mix of really charming, heartwarming answers–Papa and Mama, my friends, the whole Earth–and some laughable ones like mosquitoes and floor grates.”

With laughter and love in abundance, Lecturer of Marketing Marina Cooley 14MBA is “thankful for having a whole, fulfilling life. I’m in a lovely stage of life where my marriage and kids are a great source of joy, many of my friendships are going on decades, and my students keep me young and curious.”

For Cooley’s family, making a deep fried turkey in our backyard is a cherished holiday meal tradition. “I look forward to the moment when my kids ‘ooh and aah’ when the bird goes in and comes back out an hour later,” she says. “They think it’s magic─and it is!”

Alex Shimalla, communications specialist at Goizueta, is grateful for her family. “My sister makes me laugh, my mom gives the best hugs, my brother and his wild life are fun to watch, and my dad still answers the phone every time I call─even if it’s 10 times in a single day,” she says.

To honor the holiday, “We celebrate with…a lot of food. I’m a big apple pie fan, so that’s my yearly request (with lots of crumble on top!). I always try to rally the troops before we eat for a walk. Last year my brother and I ran a 5K, and this year my sister and I will be doing the same one again.”

For Penelope Gallardo 25BBA, it all starts with a gathering of friends followed by family fun. “I like to start by hosting a Friendsgiving with all my friends on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. We all bring different dishes and share them in potluck style. On Thursday, my family celebrates by incorporating Mexican dishes. We like to spend the morning cooking together.” And of course, giving thanks is part of her celebration as well. “Later at dinner, we go around and take turns saying what we are thankful for this year. I am very thankful for all the opportunities I have been given. I have great friends, very cool professors, and an amazing internship with the best people on the marketing team in Goizueta.”

Golf is also a tradition for some families, including the Pogues. Alan Pogue, director of operations and events management at Goizueta, also enjoys sports on Thanksgiving. “I really enjoy our family gatherings on Thanksgiving,” he says. “Our family has a habit of inviting people who aren’t able to be around their own family to join us, so it is a great opportunity to meet new people.  We watch and play football, play cornhole, and basketball. The day after, for the Turkey Leftover Classic, we have a tradition of playing golf with my Dad and twin brothers-in-law.”

Through Goizueta events and gatherings, camaraderie builds. Pogue adds, “I am thankful for the sense of community that we all share at Goizueta, as well as having our new Dean on board.”

And speaking of our new Dean, he has gratitude to give as well.

I’m thankful for the incredibly friendly way I have been welcomed to Goizueta, Emory and Atlanta in general. It has been a stressful period making a move after 24 years in California, but I am having a wonderful time, and I’m very excited for our school’s future.

Goizueta’s John H. Harland Dean Gareth James

We share our own appreciation for all of you. May your holidays be joyful!

Check out Goizueta’s Instagram account for more warm wishes, fun photo memories, and stories from our global community.

Previous articleLove for Travel Launches This MBA Grad’s 17-Year Career with Delta
Next articlePost-9/11 Veteran and Single Mom Chooses Goizueta’s Rigor to Support Strategic Career Shift
Michelle Valigursky
Michelle Valigursky is an award-winning writer, editor, blogger, and content strategist whose clients included Emory University, Fortune 500 companies, NASDAQ-traded companies, entrepreneurial ventures in various industries, and community-based small businesses and non-profits. She is a published book author and novelist who lives with her family in the Atlanta area.