KNOXVILLE – Dressed to impress, students flooded to the festively-decorated Gally on Dec. 7 for dinner and entertainment – served by Johnson faculty.
These activities are all a part of the annual Miller-Scott Banquet.
To begin the evening’s festivities, Phillip Eubanks spoke on the history of the banquet, a tradition almost 90 years old. The name comes from John Scott and Alan Miller, students from the class of 1924.
In the early 1900s, Johnson students used to stay on campus for Thanksgiving. When Scott graduated, he wanted to do something for students, so he provided turkey for a Thanksgiving meal. Later, he asked Miller to join in.
Ultimately, they established a permanent fund for the Miller-Scott dinner. When students began going home for Thanksgiving break, the festivities were moved to be a Christmastime dinner instead.
Eubanks then offered a prayer, followed by a faculty-wide singing of the Doxology.
Students were served dinner by members of the faculty, in addition to the salad and desert provided on the table. Many who finished early utilized the opportunity to snap a couple more photos with their finely-dressed friends or significant others.
Following the dinner, attendees migrated to the Phillips-Welshimer Gym for a short play, put on by a few faculty members.
David Legg, Vice President for Student Services, took the stage, explaining that it’s a tradition to keep the title of the show a secret, but alluded that the audience would be able to quickly determine the name.
As the theme music began to play, many recognized the familiar tune of “Gilligan’s Island,” and the curtains opened to reveal Gilligan, played by Jeff Snell, Professor of Congregational Ministry and Director of Preaching Ministries.
As Christmas grew near, members of “Gilligan’s Island” grew anxious to find a way back home.
Gilligan was saddened because he did not believe he was as intelligent as the others, who were suggesting clever strategies to get off the island. The other characters all had significant aspects of their lives to return to, but Gilligan did not.
“I need those wise guys. They can help me to be wise!” said Gilligan.
In a dream, his friends appear as wise men and women. He is confused that there are wise women, but the women explained that they asked for directions, or else they would have never made it to the stable.
In his dream, they tell him that a candle is as good as a bonfire. After he awakened, the wood they had planned to start a bonfire with was too damp to use as a signal, so Gilligan suggested using candles to spell out “SOS” on the beach.
Once the candles were all prepared, they realized how Gilligan felt, and that they altogether have made a family of their own.
Gilligan’s friends all blew out their candles and exited the stage, choosing to remain with him rather than pursue rescue. He finished the show by wishing the audience Christmas time spent with their family, whoever that may be.