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UW President Nichols, Tim Nichols to Host Community Holiday Open House Dec. 4

November 15, 2018

University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols and her husband, Tim, will host the third annual Holiday Open House Tuesday, Dec. 4, from 4-6 p.m. at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center for all UW employees and students, their families and members of the Laramie community.

Started in 2016 in the first year of Nichols’ administration at UW, the event has become a holiday favorite for the community. Doors will open at 4 p.m., and the event will include a UW tree-lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m., at which time the community band will provide music. There will be something for everyone to enjoy as UW welcomes the holiday season.

“This is our third year hosting the UW community open house, and it has become a highlight of the holiday season. We have many of our UW celebrities on hand, including Pistol and Pete providing hay rides; Cowboy Joe and his handlers greetings guests; the UW cheer team with our Pistol Pete mascot and, of course, a traditional Santa,” Nichols says. “Tim and I look forward to wishing our community the happiest of holidays at this annual event.”

There will be a traditional Santa Claus at the fireplace with a photographer on site to take photos with Santa -- guests only need email addresses to which their images can be sent the following day. They can also take “selfies” with Pistol Pete. The UW cheer team will be on hand to mingle with guests. There will be a holiday cookie bar where guests can build their own cookies and enjoy them with a cup of hot chocolate from the hot chocolate bar, as well as many other holiday foods and activities such as face painting.  Several local elementary schools will have decorated trees on display in the facility.

For the young and young-at-heart guests who are creative, a coloring station and holiday games will be available. For those with a Western spirit, UW’s own team of draft horses -- Pistol and Pete -- will provide hay wagon rides around the War Memorial Stadium parking lot. Cowboy Joe -- the UW mascot pony -- will greet guests at the entrance and also pose for pictures.

Various UW musical ensembles will provide live entertainment throughout the evening, including the Bettys, the Happy Jacks, the UW Jazz Band and the UW Community Concert Band.

“Please come join us in renewing old and making new friendships as the UW community comes together to provide this special evening,” the Nicholses say.

For more information, call Mary Ivanoff, UW Foundation vice president for administration and donor relations, at (307) 766-3937 or email

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