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Posted at 5:06 PM ET, 12/17/2010

Universities send holiday videos instead of cards

By Jenna Johnson
Jenna Johnson

For Holiday Season 2010, stamps and snail mail are totally out. All the rage: Holiday videos.

So far this month, I have received one traditional holiday card in the mail at work (Thanks, President Jane McAuliffe at Bryn Mawr College!) and numerous links to holiday videos.

Officials say videos are greener, cheaper and hipper than old-school cards. Plus, colleges can sneak in tons of info about campus and then send it to thousands.

Common themes: Lots of student faces. Lots of all-hands-on-deck campus involvement. Lots of wishes for world peace. And lots of mascot and administrator cameos.

This is the first year George Mason University has done an "electronic holiday greeting card." The video was produced by the University Relations staff and filmed by professionals. It features a song written by pep band director Michael "Doc Nix" Nickens and performed by students.

George Mason University - "Love, Peace, and Joy" from Lab3 Productions on Vimeo.

This is the first year for a video e-card at American University. The three-minute video was done by the university's director of video and two graduate students, and features more than 100 people sharing their holiday wishes. (More about the production.)

AU Holiday Card from American University on Vimeo.

Rather than sending out a card featuring a watercolor of a historic campus building, the College of William and Mary e-mailed 60,000 people a link to a video showing an artist creating the piece as a student sang "Home for the Holidays."

Eckerd College in Florida has been sending out animated cards since 2005. This year's video was mostly produced in-house and was sent to 32,000 prospective students.

Coker College in South Carolina aimed its holiday video at donors with the "Twelve Needs of Coker." The video counts down all of the things needed, like one student wellness center, two endowed chairs, three smart boards, four dining columns and five Steinway pianos.

Earlier this semester, Beloit College in Wisconsin released a promotional video featuring outgoing squirrels talking about all the things they love about campus. For a holiday video, the college again relied on their furry ambassadors.

Howard University also put together a video, featuring students and staff members wishing everyone a happy holidays and season's greetings.

Agnes Scott College in Georgia sent out an e-card that featured a photo slide show and the word "Peace" in many different languages.

The University of Missouri in St. Louis has an animated e-card that features Chancellor Thomas F. George and his wife Barbara Harbach cruising around a snow-covered campus in a horse-drawn carriage as four students sing "Sleigh Ride."

The University of Virginia also did a musical photo slide show that features lots of fun shots of campus covered in snow -- including a U-Va. snowman.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sent out an e-card that recipients could personalize and send to the special people their lives.

The president of Swarthmore College sent out a holiday e-card with a link to a musical photo slide show, featuring campus blanketed in glittering snow.

The chancellor at the University of California, Irvine, sent out a video card that features lots and lots of student faces.

The holiday e-card from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania features students saying "Happy New Year" in various languages, along with music performed by Lehigh University Jazz.

Have you received a cool e-card from a college or university this holiday? E-mail me a link!

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all college students. Make sure to bookmark http://washingtonpost.com/campus-overload. You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  | December 17, 2010; 5:06 PM ET
Categories:  News Overload  | Tags:  American, Bryn Mawr College, Coker College, Eckerd College, George Mason, William & Mary  
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