Christmas season is coming to Bob Jones University, and the bright lights of the lighting ceremony will once again spread Christmas cheer to campus visitors.
Today, students will have the opportunity to take time away from preparing for final exams to kick off the Christmas season with their friends, family and the community.
The 2016 Christmas Celebration will offer some new additions to the familiar and loved observance.
Pam Cushman, the University’s director of events management, said the celebration will usher in the Christmas season at BJU.
The day will be packed with activities to build anticipation for the Christmas season and to make the event special for those who attend.
Cushman said holiday surprises are planned for the students throughout the morning and afternoon.
During the evening, students will participate with the community in a variety of fun events. From 4:30 to 6 p.m., activities will begin for children in the community.
In the Welcome Center, theatre arts students in costume will perform “The Night Before Christmas,” a Yuletide story presentation.
Culinary arts students will decorate Christmas cookies in the student mall, and Bruins athletes will hold relay races and other games for children on the lawn alongside the Museum & Gallery.
At 6 p.m., the Bob Jones Academy Concert Choir will perform on front campus leading into the Christmas lighting ceremony.
Cushman said David Parker, a professor in the department of vocal studies, will lead the student body, alumni and community in Christmas carols as thousands of Christmas lights illuminate campus.
Additionally, three missionaries will send in their Christmas wishes from countries around the globe through prerecorded videos.
At 7 p.m., the yearly Alumni Giving Tree will be displayed in the gazebo with refreshments while the
Opus 6 carolers sing and WBJU’s live Christmas radio show will begin in The Den.
Games, singalongs and prizes will all be part of the radio show.
Students and guests have many opportunities to attend holiday performances.
The Symphonic Wind Band will present a performance of Hallohan de Meij’s Symphony No. 1 from The Lord of the Rings at 7:30 p.m. in Rodeheaver Auditorium.
Performances of Pullman Car Hiawatha and the Long Christmas Dinner will also take place at 7:30 p.m. in Performance Hall.
Many students have fond memories of the lighting ceremony and look forward to the event each year.
David Arbuckle, a sophomore criminal justice major, said his favorite aspect of the lighting ceremony is the portion of singing Christmas songs and hymns.
Arbuckle said he enjoyed when Dr. Pettit played his mandolin in last year’s Christmas celebration.
Carlos Cardona, a sophomore voice performance major, said the atmosphere of the ceremony is his favorite part of the event.
“I’d say [my favorite part is] the atmosphere of being able to sing with other Christians such great hymns,” Cardona said.
The Christmas lighting ceremony is free and open to students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the Greenville community.