Hiram College

Sugar Day, a celebration of service, scholarship and reflection, will put Hiram Connect under the spotlight tomorrow, March 30.

Boxes brimming with tuna fish, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, spaghetti and other staple foods will fill the floor at Fleming Field House as students package meal items for Portage County’s Center for Hope and other community pantries. Other students will assemble toothpaste, shampoo, razors and assorted personal care items into hygiene kits for area recovery centers and the Salvation Army. Meanwhile, around and about town and campus, students will set up two outdoor classrooms, spruce up the campus grounds, ready the Little Village Early Learning Center playground, paint the interior of the barn and turn the garden beds at Hiram Farm, and pack weekend meals for local children.

The event celebrates a “Day of Running Sap,” harkening back to 1856 when Hiram students gathered at the town’s Udall sugar camp to make maple syrup for community residents. In keeping with the Sugar Day theme, Denny Taylor, Ph.D., Hiram College professor of biology, will lead students in the planting of a maple tree on the grounds of the college’s historic Bonney Castle.

“I think it’s phenomenal that students receive this service learning opportunity,” says Sara Smith, service coordinator for the college. Smith adds that Hiram students generated more than $2,000 during winter’s bread and soup dinners for Sugar Day. The raised funds were used to purchase the food and personal hygiene item donations.

Following a morning bustling with community service, students in their first-year colloquium will gather for lunch and reflect on their freshman year. Throughout the remainder of the day, seniors will deliver their capstone presentations, exhibitions and performances. The afternoon showcase begins with an open poster presentation from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Kennedy Center where students and faculty will discuss their research and internship experiences.