Seton Hall kicked off the holiday season with its ninth annual tree lighting ceremony on the evening of Dec. 3.
The event was filled with students singing Christmas carols and sipping hot cocoa. For many students, the Christmas Tree Lighting signifies the end of the semester and the beginning of a new year.
This year’s tree was lit with more than 40,620 brand-new LED lights by University President Mary Meehan; Alijah Vanterpool, a freshman nursing major; Daniel D’Amico, a senior public relations major and president of the Student Activities Board (SAB); Brenda Knight, Chief Shop Steward, Local #153; and SHU alumnus Robert Tarte.
Several student music groups performed at the ceremony, including the Seton Notes, the Seton Hall Sapphires, the Immaculate Conception Schola Cantorum, Concert Band, Pep Band and the University Choir. The Gentleman of the Hall and Pretty Sharp joined together to reenact their recent performance at Radio City Music Hall on Dec. 1.
Students also had the opportunity to take a picture with the Seton Hall Pirate or with the Coca-Cola Polar Bear at its photo booth.
Brian Connor and Daniel Mullen, both senior public relations majors, said that Christmas at the Hall is their favorite time of year. Connor said, “The tree lighting is one of my favorite traditions at Seton Hall.
This years was the best because there was no rain. I also really thought the photo booth concept the SAB introduced was a cool idea.”
Connor explained that Christmas at the Hall is an amazing time and that students can feel school spirit.
“I had an amazing time with my friends and it’s a perfect way to de-stress right before finals,” he said.
Mullen said that since his freshman year, he has always had a good time at the Christmas Tree Lighting.
“I always have a good time and it is really fun to experience an event like that with your friends,” Mullen said. “Sometimes it can get a tad bit boring but the school always does a good job with making sure everyone is entertained.”
For both Connor and Mullen, this was their last tree lighting at Seton Hall. “I wouldn’t say that I am sad about it being my last Christmas Tree Lighting, but I would definitely say that it is a special occasion that I am going to miss,” Mullen said.
“The tree lighting always gets me excited for winter break,” Connor said. “I am for sure going to miss the occasion and the feeling that surrounded the tree lighting.”
While Seton Hall’s winter occasions have come to an end for some, others have just begun experiencing the tradition. Lauren Mellerup, a freshman nursing major, said she went to the Christmas Tree Lighting because everyone was talking about how Seton Hall is the number one Christmas school in America.
Mellerup said her favorite moment of the night was when they lit the tree. “The tree lighting was really long and boring,” Mellerup said. “But at the same time, it was nice to have time to do something with my friends before finals.”
Zoey Dotson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Christmas Tree Lighting photos are credited to Kiera Alexander/ Assistant Photography Editor