Celebration of Lights preparations begin
Published: Monday, December 3, 2012
Updated: Monday, December 3, 2012 00:12
It is easy to tell when it is time for the holidays at SMU and one of the first signs is the stringing of lights in the trees near Dallas Hall. For first years it is a source of curiosity and anticipation at what will be their first SMU holiday season, but for returning students it means one thing: the Student Foundation Celebration of Lights. This year the event will take place Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. in front of Dallas Hall.
Over the next few weeks, Hughes Trigg Student Center and the lawn in front of Dallas hall will make the transition into a lit up winter haven in the center of metropolitan Dallas. Though green grass and flowing fountains will replace a fresh winter snow, the Celebration of Lights signals the start of winter to all on campus.
Elena Politiski, a SMU sophomore will be attending the event for the first time this year.
“I’ve heard the whole student body goes and everyone really likes it. It is a classic tradition for SMU,” Politiski said.
But it is not just students that enjoy the festivities. Families, community members, and staff all have the option to enjoy the event for free.
“I just love it, and if it’s not raining I come every year,” SMU math professor Judy Newell said. “It’s just the whole experience. I even brought my children before I worked here.”
The lights are beautiful, the candle ceremony inspiring, and each year is a little different than the last.
SMU Pres. R. Gerald Turner will read the Christmas story and students will perform songs, dances and skits, though the finalized list will not be available until after the performer audition on Nov. 13.
“We are sure to see some new and familiar faces,” said Student Foundation Campus Events Chair Eric Sabandal. “The performances are another way to highlight the amazing talent at SMU.”
In an attempt to reach out to more students, Student Foundation also created a contest for students to design the event t-shirt this year.
To add a bit of philanthropy to the event, each year Student Foundation asks SMU students and student organizations to sponsor an underprivileged child from the Dallas area and spend the ceremony with them, make holiday crafts and attend a reception where they will present the children with a holiday gift off their wish list. This year Student Foundation has increased the number of children from 50 to 75 so they are asking for extra student participation.
“It's always a fun time playing games and spending the evening with the kids from Cesar Chavez. This year, we'll be decorating cookies and sipping hot chocolate before the ceremony starts. A few of my friends and I have done it every year and we're looking forward to it again this year,” Sabandal said.
Students interested in sponsoring a child can register at smu.edu/sf before the Nov. 11 deadline.