Fairfield University makes national news this holiday season as for the first time ever the annual tree lighting will be featured on the CBS Christmas Special on Dec. 24. Taking place on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m., Fairfield will hold the Tree Lighting on the Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola patio.
Newly appointed President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, and his family will greet everyone at the entrance to the event, and after delivering the opening remarks, Nemec will personally lead the crowd in the tree lighting countdown. After the tree lighting has concluded, two of Fairfield University’s singing groups, The Bensonians and Sweet Harmony, will each sing a few songs to those in attendance.
The tree lighting is an important event here at Fairfield, one that ushers in the holiday season to our campus. “I always loved singing at the tree lighting, it’s a great event that brings the Fairfield community together,” commented Luke Fain ’17, a Fairfield graduate and former Bensonian.
Although attendance was low last year due to inclement weather, Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Event Coordinator Colleen Wilson is expecting somewhere around 100 people at the tree lighting this year. “With this year’s event being one of the holiday events featured on the CBS Christmas Special, we believe this will help draw a large crowd,” said Wilson.
The Christmas Special will include performances from the Glee Club, Professor of Music Brian Q. Torff and New Duke and alumni band, the Lionfish.
The special came about when alumnus John P. Blessington ‘65, a senior executive producer at CBS, offered the opportunity to Fairfield University because of its Ignatian values, service and faith, according to a news@fairfield.
The Christmas Special on CBS is to be aired at 11:35 p.m. eastern time on Dec. 24. Coordinators of the event are hopeful that this will boost attendance, as some students are sure to be looking for their 15 seconds of fame.
Now that Thanksgiving has come and passed, students are eager to get into the Christmas spirit, and the tree lighting is an important event on Fairfield University’s campus during the holiday season.“I’ll definitely be attending the tree lighting, I look forward to it every year,” said Erik Ekberg ‘19.
Cookies, Santa hats and hot chocolate will be provided at the tree lighting for all those in attendance. Lucas the Stag will also be making an appearance to showcase his holiday cheer.
Although the event has faced several delays this year, the staff has made many preparations to make sure the lighting runs as smoothly as possible. According to Wilson, conversations were had prior to the event between the president’s office and organizations, such as the Fairfield University Student Association and the Office of Student Engagement, to make sure that all hiccups have been ironed out. Electricians are also brought in to make sure the lights are strung properly.