After an excited “10, nine, eight” countdown by more than 150 people and with the flick of a switch, Columbia College was transformed Friday evening into a holiday wonderland.
More than 6,000 white lights instantaneously illuminated the outlines of the building and trees around Bass Commons. The commons is the lawn in front of St. Clair Hall, at Tenth and Rogers streets.
“It reminds me of a large-scale Christmas village,” said Michelle Gleba, associate director of public relations and marketing for the college. “I just wish we had snow.”
As Christmas carols carried softly through the air, students, faculty, staff, alumni and residents gathered outside St. Clair Hall to witness the lighting.
The lights will go on each day at 5 p.m. until the new year.
Gerald Brouder, president of Columbia College, said the lighting ceremony has a deeper meaning: “We need light to search for truth and to discover in the search for knowledge.”
After the ceremony, a reception was held where children of all ages could meet Santa and grab a bite to eat before listening to the holiday music of the Columbia College Double Sextette and Men’s Chorale in Dorsey Gymnasium.