By Jim Burdick
Well, the end of the semester is almost here and that means the holidays are right around the corner. The season’s official kickoff was Dec. 1, with the “Lighting of the Campus” event on the newly created Highland Plaza, right behind the Admissions Building.
The celebration started at 4:30 p.m. with singer and guitar player David Binder performing seasonal music including “Winter Wonderland” and “The Hanukkah Song” to the crowd in the 49-degree weather. “I can’t feel my fingers in this cold,” Binder joked as he was tuning up his guitar and getting ready for the night. “It’s gonna make playing hard tonight.”
People from all over campus – students, alumni and faculty – huddled together in front of the food stand from Chartwells, which provided hot chocolate and sugar cookies aplenty. While they sipped their drinks and nibbled their sweets, several of the people who had coordinated the event passed out candy canes and candles. The candy canes were marked as they were passed, and whoever had the cane with the ‘X’ on it won the raffle they were holding.
Surrounding the plaza, symbols of the upcoming holidays, including Christmas and Hanukkah, were decorated with lights and the like. People opened up their pamphlets to find what the holidays mean to the people who celebrate them.
And then it was time for the big event. President Robert Antonucci walked up to the platform with his wife, Jeanne, by his side. “This is the season of helping people, and caring in the community,” he said in his speech. Around him people held lit candles, given out by Student Development, in celebration of the season.
It was then that Antonucci and the student-government president popped some balloons, triggering the lighting of the Christmas tree and the lights of the campus itself.