Student Foundation spices up Celebration of Lights for SMU’s centennial

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Since 1977, the Celebration of Lights has been a time-honored tradition at SMU. This year, Student Foundation is adding a new look to the classic celebration 38 years later.

Along with the traditional lighting of Dallas Hall, the trees near it and the Christmas tree, trees all down the Boulevard will also be lit through Jan. 3.

“I’ve been waiting for this to happen since freshman year,” junior Rebecca Kim said. “When I first heard of Celebration of Lights, I had thought the lights would continue down the Boulevard. I can’t wait to see it actually happen.”

An ice skating rink will also be installed in front of the flagpole the day of the event, Nov. 30. Students will be able to skate on the 90 square foot rink until 11 p.m.

“I think everyone will enjoy the event,” said Kaci Rood, Student Foundation’s Campus Events chair. “We’ll still have the traditional aspects. I like how Celebration of Lights fosters community on campus.”

The annual lighting event will begin at 7 p.m. The event is sponsored by SMU’s Student Foundation and supported by the SMU Centennial Host Committee and the Michael F. Miller Endowment for the Celebration of Lights.

Luminarias will line the sidewalks for the Nov. 30 lighting ceremony. Student musicians will perform songs of the season and SMU President R. Gerald Turner will read the Christmas story from the New Testament. Finally, the SMU Christmas tree will be lit. The celebration will conclude with a candlelight chorus of “Silent Night” from all the participants.

There are also rumors of carriage rides around the Boulevard to celebrate the holiday season.

Transfer and junior Stefan Williams hadn’t heard much of the Celebration of Lights yet, but he is excited to attend the event this year.

“The best way to describe my emotions would be ecstatic,” he said. “It’s a pretty cool event and it’s nice to have these kinds of events on campus.”

“The event happens at a stressful time, with finals coming up,” Kim said. “I like how people can take a break from studying and come together to celebrate the season.”

While the weather might be a little chilly on Nov. 30, Rood encourages students to come and experience the Celebration of Lights.

“This is personally my favorite event SMU has,” Rood said. “I’m honored to plan it and it’s a great way to end the centennial year. I challenge students to bundle up and come out.”

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