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Alumni now invited to Skidmore's traditional Tree Lighting Ceremony

Organizers hope the event will bring the community together for the holiday season

By Andrew Shi
On November 30, 2011

  • This tree, stationed outside of the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall, will soon be decorated and lit up at the 23rd Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Savannah Grier/The Skidmore News

Students may have already noticed the large tree set up in front of the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall in preparation for the College's 23rd annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec. 1, which alumni have been invited to attend for the first time.

The Tree Lighting Ceremony tradition began in 1988 with the College's fifth president, Dr. David H. Porter, who came in from Carleton College in 1987. This year, Annie Delauney, senior assistant director of Alumni Affairs & College Events, and Robin Adams, interim director of Campus Life, met with Rohini Alamgir ‘12, chairwoman of the Student Government Association's Traditions Committee, to organize the event.

"The idea to invite alumni to the Tree Lighting Ceremony stemmed from an initiative of the Alumni Association, the Alumni Board of Directors and the Office of Alumni Affairs to create more opportunities for alumni and students to interact," Delauney said.

"Over the years, Tree Lighting has evolved into a student-run, non-denominational event geared toward unifying the campus community and exemplifying the holiday mood as the school term draws to an end," Alamgir said.

"It's also a wonderful way to keep our alumni connected to the College – we often hear from our alumni that they wish there were more opportunities to speak with current students," Delauney said. "Our hope is that both students and alumni will enjoy this format and that we will be able to partner with the Traditions Committee on this event in the future."

The ceremony will include refreshments, performances by various student a cappella groups and poetry read by President Philip Glotzbach and Director of Religious and Spiritual Life Richard Chrisman.

Several on-campus organizations also will attend the ceremony, including representatives from the Skidmore Shop, the Senior Gift Committee, and Skidmore Cares, which will be accepting donations (non-perishable food, school supplies, clothing etc.) for the Saratoga community during the holiday season.

The Tree Lighting Ceremony will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Case Green. Organizers encourage attendees to contribute a personal ornament to the tree. After the holiday season, the tree will be planted in a permanent location on-campus in support of the campus wide sustainability initiative. 

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