By: Selah Vetter
Due to the semester ending before Thanksgiving, combined with ongoing COVID-19 guidelines, many students at Samford University were concerned that Lighting of the Way would not occur this year. Then, Dr. Andrew Westmoreland stepped in.
“As it turns out, COVID is not the Grinch that stole Christmas, after all,” Westmoreland said.
The Samford Activities Council will host Lighting of the Way will be on Nov. 19 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the Quad. Like the Fall Festival, it will be a ticketed event. The decorated tree and the garland on the gates are just the beginning of this event. There will be ornament painting, music and food. SAC will also continue the tradition of having luminaries on the Quad.
“My favorite aspect of Lighting of the Way is that we experience, as a united Samford community, the sheer joy of Christmas,” Westmoreland said. “For most of us, it is the first time during the Christmas season that lights are turned on and the tree is decorated, and I love the fact that we share that time together as a Samford family.”
Westmoreland believes this is a special tradition for the Samford community, reminding the students of the truth about the Christmas season.
“Samford is far more than Christian in name only, and the tradition of Lighting of the Way allows the exuberance of our celebration of Christ to find free and pure expression. The event is joy-filled, as it should be,” Westmoreland said.
Since Westmoreland will be retiring as president of the university next year, this will be his and his wife’s, First Lady Jeanna Westmoreland, last time leading Lighting of the Way.
“Jeanna and I are extremely happy as we approach the event, but there is no escaping the poignancy of this being our last time,” Westmoreland said. “One of the most memorable features of the 2020 celebration is that it will actually occur — despite the COVID challenges we have faced this year.”
Students can follow SAC on Instagram @sacsamford to stay updated for more details.
Selah Vetter is a junior from Knoxville, TN double majoring in JMC and Spanish with a concentration in print journalism.