SHU kicks off holiday with tree lighting

There was a buzz in the air as students and members of the South Orange community convened on the Green Tuesday to celebrate the 8th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Christmas at The Hall kicked off with Mass in the Chapel of Immaculate Conception, followed by the Blessing of the Creche and finally the tree lighting, where students and families enjoyed hot chocolate while listening to Christmas carols by various music ensembles on campus. From the Seminary Choir to the Sapphires and The Seton Notes, these groups were able to display their talent while also spreading holiday cheer.

Students celebrated the tree lighting with many performances and speakers.
Greg Medina/Photography Editor

In the last two weeks before Christmas break, the tree lighting is also a way for student groups to come together and commemorate the holiday. Junior English major and SGA President Christina Simon explained how the presence of student clubs at the ceremony contributed its overall spirit.

“There’s nothing like seeing our students and faculty coming together each December to celebrate the holiday season,” she said. “It certainly contributes to the welcoming, family-oriented atmosphere in our community.”

Representing the student body, Simon was one of the eight chosen to light the tree at the ceremony, having been nominated by the Christmas at the Hall committee.

Cheyanne Ganpat, a freshman biology major, was also chosen to light the tree, representing the class of 2021. Recommended by her academic coach, Maggie Hernandez, Ganpat was eventually contacted and selected by Dean Winston Roberts.

“I am extremely excited to be able to participate,” said Ganpat. “I am truly grateful to be given the honor of being part of the Christmas Tree Lighting.”

Dean Roberts and Robin Cunningham, associate vice president of Freshman Studies, were the two emcees for the night, telling jokes and keeping the spirits up, while participants waited for the tree to light.

One of the spectators was sophomore and criminal justice major Taylor Epps. Though this is her second year at Seton Hall, this was her first tree lighting ceremony.

“I didn’t get a chance to see this last year,” Epps said. “I loved the Gospel Choir and the other entertainment, and when the tree was finally lit, it was really beautiful.”

With an impressive 60-foot tree draped in 42,900 lights, Seton Hall is considered the best college for Christmas in the United States. Adorned in colorful lights and a bright white star, Seton Hall can officially start the Christmas season.

Megan Beauchamp can be reached at megan.beauchamp@student.shu.edu.