Christmas came early to the BYU Testing Center during finals week.
On Dec. 20, BYU students noticed a man with a red suit, black boots and a large, white beard — the jolly old elf himself — sitting outside the Testing Center’s north doors with a stack of $10 bills, handing them to students as they came to and from final exams.
Students seemed both bewildered and amazed as they stopped to talk to Santa, get their pictures taken with him and receive $10.
“If it was a better year, I (would be) handing out twenties,” Santa said.
When asked how many $10 bills he’d brought to campus, Santa answered, “Enough.”
Santa said he handed out the money because he was once a student himself, and he knows some students need the money or could simply use it. He also said he wanted to do good, and he felt there wasn’t a better place to do that than among young people getting their education.
“You guys are going to make a difference,” Santa said, speaking to students. “You’re the ones that, through your education and your desire and your push, you’re going to come up with things we haven’t even thought of.”
Santa also said he used to write for the sports section of the Daily Universe.
Nathan Moser, a freshman studying mechanical engineering, said he watched Santa interact with students for about 20 minutes. He said some people just kept walking, but others couldn’t help but stop.
“It’s been interesting to watch,” Moser said.
As of this writing, no reports have been made of reindeer or elf sightings on or around campus.