The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

A tradition still burning bright

The Celebration of Lights continues to stun students decades later
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The first Celebration of Lights was held in 1977, but under the name Festival of Lights.

Students, faculty, and residents throughout Dallas flocked to Dallas Hall Lawn the night of Nov. 27 for singing, games, food, and of course, bright lights.

The beloved SMU tradition ushers in the holiday joy and promotes the comfort of community on the Hilltop.

The first Celebration of Lights was held in 1977, but under a different name. Student Foundation and Vicki Sterquell (Class of 1978) came up with the long-standing tradition and called it Festival of Lights.

The event began as a way to thank SMU’s supporters. The first celebration was held in the Dallas Hall Rotunda for community members who donated at least $100 to the school.

The colorful lights decorating the trees and buildings burned every night until Jan. 1. In 1977, the electricity cost for the lights added only $20 to the electricity bill. The electricity bill may be different today, but students, faculty, and Dallas residents are still able to enjoy the lights during the holiday.

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About the Contributor
Katie Bergelin, Podcast Producer
As podcast producer, Katie creates engaging podcasts for The DC’s Pony Pod, an award-winning series that can be heard on Spotify. You can catch episodes of “Ask the Expert,” a series that focuses on experts at SMU and in the DFW area. You can also listen to “Money Talks” and “The Reel Deal,” two other series on the Pony Pod that Katie hosts and produces. On “Money Talks,” listeners can expect conversations about unique perspectives in business, finance, and entrepreneurship including a fun but serious episode discussing the viral “girl math” phenomenon. Dive into “The Reel Deal” for a deep conversation with industry professionals about whether the entertainment industry portrays their careers accurately (Yes, Chef!). Katie also works with students interested in developing their own podcasts for production with The DC.You can email her at [email protected] with podcast pitches and other inquiries. You can email her at [email protected].