Hampton University brings in holiday cheer with 36th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Staff Writer: Raven Harper

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Photo Credit: Taylor Gravesande

Christmas jingles played throughout the night as many HU students and faculty gathered together at the front of campus Dec. 2 to witness the lighting of the Christmas tree, one of Hampton’s many traditions. This is the 36th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Hampton has put on at the corner of Emancipation Drive and William R. Harvey Way that President Harvey and his wife started here on campus.

The night kicked off with Hampton University’s Christmas Ensemble in unison playing the melodies of some classic Christmas tunes as students gathered around the soon-to-be-lit tree to give thanks and welcome in the new holiday season. Some of the people in attendance included President Harvey and his wife, the royal court lead by the new 62nd Miss Hampton University Carmen Jackson and Mr. Pirate Jamil Gambari, SGA President Jonathan Mack and University Chaplain Reverend Haggins. Reverend Haggins began the event with an invocation, followed by words and introductions from Miss Hampton representing the entire royal court.

Marissa Black, a sophomore interdisciplinary studies major from Baltimore, Maryland is just one of many students who attended the tree lighting Monday night.

“The tree lighting is one of the few things I enjoy coming to at the end of the fall semester before finals. It’s so nice seeing all of Hampton come together like a family. I think it puts the campus and school more in the holiday spirit,” Black said.

The tree lighting is always just a couple of weeks before the fall semester ends before students and faculty go home to their families for the holidays. This night was a reminder to all who came about the reason for the season being the importance of giving, one of the many things President William R. Harvey tries to instill in every Hamptonian.

Many of those things are listed in Hampton’s University Code of Conduct, including the rule to be kind to yourself and others. During this holiday season, there are many ways to show kindness to others. One way to start is through giving. You can go the simple route by giving time, love and attention to family members. You can give also give kindness by donating food and clothes to the less fortunate. When we think of the holiday season, we think of our families and being inside spending time with them, but there are hundreds of less fortunate families, people without families and homeless people in your own surrounding neighborhood who could use some kindness this holiday season. Think about them while at home and spread the Christmas spirit of giving that President Harvey shared at the Tree Lighting last week.

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