By Liza Noskova
Visitors enjoyed an afternoon of eating lunch, relaxing and listening to live music, as part of UMD’s traditional Wind Down Wednesday spring event, held April 19 at the university’s Memorial Chapel.
“It’s a chance for students, staff and faculty to see the chapel as not just a place of worship and spirituality, but also one of fellowship and community,” said Mel Coles, the chapel’s Senior Event Manager..
For lunch, the menu consisted of sandwiches, chips, cookies and soft drinks. Visitors, either alone or with friends, spread out on the chapel’s benches.
“This is a very big campus and it can be kind of hectic, but this is very calm and very nice,” said Eshan Mulay, a graduate student studying telecommunications.
“Such events being organized on campus are very nice, because they give it a sense of community. I’m very thrilled by it,” said Nath Guru, a graduate electrical and computer engineering student.
To go along with tradition, the event featured live music.
“Can I play anything I want?” asked flutist Ceylon Mitchell, a graduate student at UMD’s School of Music, while setting up for his performance.
With Coles’ affirmative, Mitchell played household tunes during the event, like “My Favorite Things,” from The Sound of Music, and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’s “Pure Imagination.”
“We try every Wind Down Wednesday to feature a different musician and a different instrument, so we had a pianist last time,” Coles said. “We’ve had a saxophonist…in the future, maybe we’ll have a harpist or a singer.”
Another feature of the event was the multi-faith tree of life art installation at the front of the room. The tree, painted various shades of purple, orange, pink, blue and yellow, has been permanently mounted on the wall at the front of the chapel, and serves as a symbol of diversity and community at the university, according to Coles.
“It took a lot of different people to build it and it’s something that can’t just be taken down,” Coles said. “It’s been put here to remind people that the chapel is multifaith and interfaith, and that although we may all be different, we all have a place somewhere on the tree.”