Moriah Mason / Staff Writer
On Dec. 6, from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Arts Department will be doing their annual event, Celebrate Christmas with the Samford Arts, in the Wright Center
Samford has many annual Christmas traditions, including lessons and carols from the campus worship team, Hanging of the Green, Lighting of the Way, Christmas Around the World, and lessons and carols from the choral vespers.
“Celebrate Christmas is the climax of Christmas celebrations on the campus of Samford University,” states the Samford Arts website
Associate dean of the school of the arts Eric Mathis discussed that the event is different from other celebrations because it captures the whole picture of Samford.
“One challenge is that none of these Christmas traditions possess the full picture of who Samford and Samford Arts has grown to be in the last decade,” Mathis said.
Due to the size of the student body, many buildings such as Reid Chapel are not able to hold all of the student body. So, venues like the Wright Center are more ideal to have a Christmas celebration.
“Our campus includes more than 6,000 students, faculty, and staff. Only 10 percent of this population can fit in Reid Chapel for Hanging of the Green, perhaps the most beloved Christmas tradition on campus, along with the Lighting of the Way.” said Mathis
In addition, “So, I believe we stumbled into something successful by adding Celebrate Christmas to the roster of Christmas events at Samford because the Wright Center has the capacity to hold 1/3 of our campus population.”
Mathis hopes that the upcoming program will remind Samford students of what the Samford community really is.
“I hope it will reinforce to Samford students who they – and who we – know Samford to be: an institution and a family of people grounded on core commitments of intellect, creativity, faith, and the whole person that has characterized our community for so many Christmas seasons in the past.”
Even though Celebrate Christmas with the Samford Arts is an annual tradition, the Arts department will be adding different aspects this year.
Mathis said, “This year, we are excited to have a video company on site that will provide close-up footage of performers. We are featuring faculty members from the School of the Arts this year. We’ve kicked our dress code up a notch. And, we have a beat-boxer performing with one of the groups. That’s right – a beat-boxer.”
There has been a lot of preparation and rehearsals with this event. Mathis discussed how he is always proud of the students, faculty, and staff from the Wright Center who come together to make this event happen.
“’I’m always most proud of the students, faculty, and staff in the School of the Arts and the Wright Center who come together to make this event happen. It requires a lot of rehearsal hours during a busy season of the year, but they put in the time and the work. And, they offer the event in the spirit of a Christmas gift to the Samford and Birmingham community.”
He also elaborated on how the world needs the arts.
“You know, the world deeply needs the beauty and the joy that come from the arts, and I’m so proud of the way that our students, faculty, and staff use this event to give those gifts away at this time of the year,” Mathis said.
Before this event, cookies and apple cider will be served at 6:30 p.m. on the Wright Center patio and lobby, according to Samford Arts website. Tickets are free and are required for attendance.