This past Thursday, Bryant held the 40th anniversary of the Festival of Light. The event is the longest tradition on campus. Every year for the event, students, facility, and alumni gather in the Rotunda together to sing holiday songs, say prayers, and light candles in the official kickoff of the celebration of the holiday season.
With the 40th anniversary, I was excited to attend this year. Even though I attended the event my freshman year, I want to make the most out of everything this year. So when I got to the event, you can bet I was the most excited student to have a candle in their hand.
Once the event started, I was just soaking it all in. Being in attendance with my suitemates, Beri and Bosko, the three of us did our best to sign-along to the holiday songs. But in-between songs and prayers, I just looked around the Bulldog community to see all different types of ages coming together. The biggest element that I took in the most was the amount of faculty and alumni that came back to enjoy the evening. What that meant to me was how many alumni care about this university, as well as faculty possibly coming back to campus after a day of teaching to celebrate.
After celebrating and sharing light to have all the candles in the room be lit, everyone took a moment to look at the reflection of the lights in the dome of the Rotunda. Once the moment was over, Big Dawg (President Machtley) lead everyone outside with their candles to light up the campus Christmas Tree and Menorah.
To me, the Festival of Lights is a family celebration. The event is the ultimate community tradition we have on campus, because it brings everyone together to celebrate all faiths and holidays. For now, I have one more year to celebrate the event as an active Bulldog. Then, when it is my time, I will be able to come back to campus to celebrate with my fellow alumni.