Walnut Ridge, AR – Each year Williams Baptist University (WBU) students descend upon an area known as “The Cove” to enjoy a bit of Christmas spirit and fellowship with their friends and professors. The event, known as Christmas in The Cove, has taken on a life of its own and has become an event looked forward to by many on campus. 

The Cove is a group of faculty and staff housing located behind the WBU campus. Events are held throughout the school year in the neighborhood including fish fries, a trick-or-treat event and other small celebrations, but nothing compares to the excitement that Christmas in The Cove brings to the campus and the community. 

“Christmas in The Cove is something our students talk about when they arrive on campus in August,” said Gabby Dixon, Director of Student Life at WBU. “We actually start planning and talking about it in January. I think it gives students a unique opportunity to get to know their professors on a different level and that can help both the students and the professors have a better understanding of each other in the classroom.” 

Those living in The Cove area decorate their homes with Christmas decorations and invite students into their homes for an evening filled with Christmas cheer. Each house takes on a different theme with some offering an outdoor fire pit for roasting marshmallows, while others offer a selection of candy and other Christmas treats.  

The event brings students, faculty and staff together in a unique way, allowing students to see their professors in their homes with their families without the barrier of a classroom. The event has become so popular that even many alumni return each year to take part in the annual walk around neighborhood to catch up with former professors and take in the wonder of the event. 

“I really enjoyed coming to this as a student,” said Brayden Brewer who graduated from Williams in 2021. “I wanted to come back this year and see my friends and professors and just tell them about my life. They were such a big part of shaping who I am that I enjoy the opportunity to talk in a setting like this.” 

This year’s event featured nearly 20 houses and close to 200 students walking through The Cove to enjoy the fellowship.  

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