Manchester University
Oak Leaves

December 8, 2017

Christmas Tree MU 2014

Community Members Gather for Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony

Avis McGovern 

Manchester University hosted its annual Tree-Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 30. Hundreds of MU students, faculty, staff and neighbors gathered in front of the Jo Young Switzer Center to welcome the Christmas season on campus. Attendees listened and sang along with the Manchester Junior High School Choir as they performed seasonal selections and Christmas carols before President Dave MacFadden conducted the countdown to the Christmas season by lighting the enormous tree outside the JYSC.

During the ceremony, revelers enjoyed treats provided by Chartwells. “The hot chocolate and cookies really made me excited to see the Christmas tree being lit,” said Gwen Fourman.

Manny the Mascot made a special appearance to help with the Christmas cheer. Students gathered around the “selfie station” to take a picture with the MU mascot in their cold gear. “I went to the Christmas-Tree Lighting ceremony because I had to work with Team Manny,” Victor Banks said. “When I wasn’t watching him, I enjoyed seeing and talking to my friends who attended.”
Banks is a first-year student from Fort Wayne. “The ceremony made me miss home and all the Christmas lighting festivities that happen there," he said, "but it also motivated me to end the semester in a positive way so that I could get ready for the holidays.”

To conclude the ceremony, Santa rode in on a fire truck to wish all those there a Merry Christmas. While their hands were buried in their pockets to keep warm, MU students and children gathered in clusters to patiently wait and take their picture with Santa and sit on his lap. “Getting to see Santa riding in the fire truck made me think about being a kid again,” said Katie Hamilton. “It was great getting to see the young ones around me get excited and want to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas.” 

The Christmas tree now lights up every night along with other Christmas decorations around campus.