The Festival of Lights event began as project of the Faculty Senate in conjunction with the Provost’s and Chancellor’s offices in the Fall of 2011. It was intended to serve as an opportunity for university faculty and administration to come together in a celebratory activity heralding the holiday season. At that time, all event activities were centered at the Hubbard Hall Oval with a program including remarks from the Speaker of the Faculty Senate, Provost Dr. Robert Neely, and Chancellor Dr. Ann Stuart; refreshments in front of Hubbard Hall; caroling around the flag pole area; and a few light displays in the grass near the Oval.
In 2012, it was decided to expand the event audience to involve the entire university community. Additional custom-made decorative elements, vigil candles, and luminaries were added to the event, and several additional campus departments (Student Life, Drama, Former Students Association, Conference Services, and others) became key contributors in the planning and implementation of the activities. The program for the evening was expanded to include remarks and entertainment beginning at Old Main Building and a candle light procession down Red Bud Lane to the Hubbard Hall Oval. Upon arrival at the Oval, visitors were treated to the lighting ceremony, refreshments, choral music, and picture-taking among the light displays.
Due to the resounding success of the Festival and even more significant involvement of campus stakeholders in the planning and implementation of the event, the 2013 program featured special performances by the School of the Arts dance, music, and drama programs, new light displays, and an eclectic variety of other holiday activities including the Winter Wonderland Craft Fair at the Student Union, Ice Skating, the Lighting Ceremony activities around Old Main Building and Hubbard Hall Oval, and an evening Winter Concert - providing for a full day of fun, family-friendly festivities!
We hope you will join us in helping to make this year's Festival even more successful and memorable through your participation as a volunteer providing support for the lighting event, and we encourage all students, faculty, staff and their families to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with us at this special event.