MURRAY -- The Town & Gown Partnership at Murray State University is hosting "A President's Reception -- A Celebration of Giving," a Holiday Open House at Oakhurst and Town & Gown Holiday Concert at Lovett Auditorium to help the Murray community get in the holiday spirit next month.

On Dec. 4 from 3-4:30 p.m., "A President's Reception -- A Celebration of Giving" will be held at Pogue Library. The event is open to campus and the entire community in celebration of the season of giving and to spotlight President Dr. Bob Jackson's appreciation of all who support Murray State University.

The President's Office and Town & Gown will host the annual Holiday Open House at Oakhurst on Dec. 6 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. The Murray State community and general public are invited for an evening of live music played by University students, light refreshments and more.

Built by University founder Dr. Rainey T. Wells and his family in 1918, Oakhurst -- then named Edgewood -- is the president's home, located at 1510 Main Street in Murray.

In 1939 when Dr. Wells left the University to become the general attorney for Woodmen of the World in Omaha, Nebraska, the Murray State Board of Regents unanimously purchased the home for $20,000 and renamed the building Oakhurst. On its 60th anniversary, Oakhurst was named to the National Register of Historic Places.

Following the open house is the Town & Gown Holiday Concert at Lovett Auditorium, which takes place at 7 p.m. The free event is open to the entire community.

The 80-member Town & Gown Community Band is led by Dr. Todd E. Hill, professor and director of jazz studies at Murray State. The group will perform a mixture of traditional and modern holiday songs. Hill will lead the chorale and band in a Christmas sing-along for the audience that includes "Joy to the World," "Carol of the Bells," "What Child Is This" and others. Jared Heldenbrand is the choir's collaborative pianist.

The Town & Gown Partnership at Murray State enhances the quality of living and learning in the community by fostering improved communication between the University and local citizens, facilitating the discussion of community concerns, organizing educational events that promote the history, culture and commerce of the region and investing in collaborative partnerships with philanthropic and community service organizations. To learn more, visit murraystate.edu/townandgown.

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