Bringing a Little Joy to Delmarva | University of Maryland Eastern Shore Marketing Retarget Pixel

Bringing a Little Joy to Delmarva

  • Friday, December 14, 2018
    Dr. Michael Nugent in Yuletide regalia

    While making a list and checking it twice, we go straight to a big man (on campus) himself. 

    A long-time University of Maryland Eastern Shore faculty member - and member of a giving profession - wears an additional stocking cap this time of year. And he also has a matching red suit! Dr. Michael A. Nugent moonlights as Kris Kringle. 

    About 20 years ago - half the amount of time he's had his distinctive whiskers - the Amityville, N.Y. native and father of three (grown) sons good-naturedly granted a request from a friend to portray Father Christmas. 

    Among the perks of being Santa, Nugent says, is “Working with children and young people keeps you young.” 

    Nugent, Coordinator of Praxis testing / advising in UMES' Department of Education, describes his seasonal role as “a fun time.” He enjoys the sense of wonderment and joy in the children he encounters when they spy his red suit and salt-and-pepper beard. 

    He enthusiastically mimicked their reactions chanting “He's here! He's here!” 

    UMES' St. Nick has been spotted at some Worcester County elementary schools and in the 2018 Ocean City Christmas Parade. Making his rounds as Santa Claus apparently has proven to be impactful. 

    “After my visits to the schools,” Nugent says, “the teachers say the students tend to be well behaved and quieter in the classroom.” 

    As he reprises his role of Father Christmas once more, Nugent will be giving (and getting) a little joy this holiday season when he makes his annual visit to little ones at the UMES Early Childhood Development Center.

    Twas the night before exams ... er, I mean Christmas

    Dr. Donna Long, the childhood center's director, said the youngsters were enthralled by getting a personal visit from Santa, who read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas" to them.