Today@Sam Article

Celebrating 100 Years Of Tree Of Light

Nov. 24, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Hannah Crandall

Tree of Light with Crowd SurroundingCelebrating the 100th year of the tradition, Sam Houston State University expects the biggest crowd in history at the annual Tree of Light ceremony on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. The celebration includes performances from university groups, sweets and beverages, a canned-food drive and the lighting of the tree by President Alisa White.

“I think what separates the Tree of Light from any other event is that it brings everyone together at the end of the semester as we enter into the holiday season,” said Steven Begnaud, Assistant Director for Traditions and Special Events. “To see this beautiful 42-foot tree get lit up and to share in those experiences together is so special.”

Canned goods will be accepted in LSC Suite 215 through Nov. 30, and free Tree of Light t-shirts will be distributed for every four canned goods donated until the end of the drive. The donations will be delivered to the Huntsville Good Shepherd Mission, providing a great outlet for students to give back to the community.

 “We really do embody the motto of our university with that service element to this program,” Begnaud said.

Sammy in front of Tree of LightThe Happy Holidays event will take place prior to the Tree of Light ceremony from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at the bell tower. This event is put on by the Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs, and it highlights the other holidays that occur during the holiday season. At 5 p.m., ornaments to be placed on the tree during the “trimming of the tree” segment must be checked in at the Tree of Light ornaments table in the LSC Yard.

In addition to the events open to the public, there will also be a ceremony on Nov. 29 to dedicate the original tree in the Evans complex with a plaque.

“To officially dedicate this tree is monumental when we talk about university traditions and the historical importance of certain places and events on campus,” Begnaud said. “This one is no exception.”

Students greatly value this SHSU tradition, and the Department of Student Activities encourages all students, faculty and staff to participate in the 100th Tree of Light to create memories together and give back to the community.

“I love being a part of such a beloved tradition and seeing all my fellow Bearkats together celebrating the spirit of the season,” said SHSU senior Mikah Boyd.

The Tree of Light ceremony will also be streamed online for those that cannot attend.

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