LightsThe evening of Dec. 6 featured a plethora of lights, laughter and a line of excited children cherishing their chance to talk with Santa Claus as Columbia College celebrated the start of the 2013 Holiday season throughout campus with its annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony.

At 4:45 p.m. CST, more than 925 members of the campus community and their families gathered on Bass Commons to witness the lighting of the historic campus buildings. Interim President Dr. Terry Smith shared a brief holiday message and Student Government Association President Jared Reichel led the crowd in the annual countdown.

The buildings around Bass Commons will now be illuminated each evening from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., and the Kirkman House, home to graduate studies, will feature an animated light display throughout the month of December. Those in Columbia can drive by and take a moment to watch the lights dance from the parking lot at 10th and Rogers streets.

The Columbia College family then had the option of continuing the festive evening in Launer Auditorium for the Jane Froman Singers performance of “The Jane Froman Christmas Radio Hour” or attending the reception in Dulany Hall. Guests enjoyed cookie decorating, carriage rides, holiday music and the traditional visit with Santa Claus. There was also an opportunity for children to write and mail a letter to the North Pole.

The event was started in 1996 by president emeritus Dr. Gerald and Mrs. Bonnie Brouder as a gift from the college to the faculty, staff and students in recognition off their hard work and support of Columbia College. The tradition is highlighted in “A Look through Rogers Gate.”