Winter break reading with President Gilbert

As winter break approaches, students are not the only ones excited for the end of the semester and the upcoming holidays.

President Jerome Gilbert and Senior Vice President for Communications and Marketing, Ginny Painter, are both looking forward to holiday traditions and relaxing over break.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been in a place that really has a winter,” Gilbert said.

The Gilbert family will be celebrating at the house of the president this year, and Gilbert said the family gatherings are a long-standing tradition that he has known since childhood. Gilbert comes from a large family, and said holiday gatherings were characterized by his ten or more cousins coming to visit.

“We were and are very close, even still,” Gilbert said. “My favorite traditions have changed over time, but I will always favor getting together with my family. I love all the festivities around this time of year, and something I’ll always do is go to Christmas Eve service at church, I’ve gone ever since I can remember.”

Painter said she enjoys getting together with her family, and looks forward to their yearly screening of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

“My husband’s family watches [it], dresses like the some of the characters and drinks eggnog out of the reindeer head cups,” Painter said. “The kids still want to do it, even though they’re adults. We’re very serious about it; the kids even made up a trivia game for it –crazy stuff you wouldn’t know unless you’ve seen the film a hundred times.”

Gilbert said he hoped to carol sometime this holiday season, especially since he is not participating in a choir at the moment.

“I love Christmas carols, so maybe I’ll sing around Old Main with my office,” Gilbert laughed.

Gilbert and Painter have also made book lists for themselves to read over winter break. Gilbert has spoken of his love for reading before, but this week he shared his personal list for other members of the Marshall community to enjoy as well. Painter said she has also noted a couple of books she plans to read. Both said they enjoy reading historical fiction, and Gilbert especially enjoys southern history.

President Gilbert’s reading list includes:

“The Last Road Home” by Danny Johnson, “Lafayette in the Somewhat United States” by Sarah Vowell, “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance, “In the Fall” by Jeffrey Lent, “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown, and “Ordinary Grace” by William Kent Krueger.

Senior  VP Painter’s reading list includes:

“Dead Wake” by Eric Larson and “An Obvious Fact” by Craig Johnson.

Gilbert also said he has plans to “catch up on some Netflix shows” over break as well, including “Gilmore Girls” and “House of Cards.”

“[My family and I] were watching ‘Gilmore Girls’ this weekend; we have some other shows to catch up on over the break,” Gilbert said. “I’m going to read quite a bit over the break, I hope to read all the ones on my list.”

Brooke Estep can be contacted at [email protected]