On the evening of Thursday, Nov. 17, students, faculty and families in the community filled the BYU-Idaho campus for an evening of activities and entertainment sponsored by Campus Life and the University Store.
The evening’s festivities kicked off with the Christmas tree lighting program on the Taylor Quad at 6 p.m. The program consisted of remarks given by Student Life faculty, vocal musical talents shared by father-daughter duo Mat and Savanna Shaw, a viewing of the newly released 2022 #LightTheWorld initiative video from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Christmas tree light countdown at the Taylor Quad.
Student Life Vice President Amy LaBaugh gave the opening remarks at the lighting.
“The lights are going to be bright tonight,” LaBaugh said. “But no brighter than the light you bring with you each day to this campus.”
LaBaugh spoke of the light that shines in each audience member as a child of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ.
The program concluded with the audience counting down from 10 to light the Christmas tree and surrounding lights. After the audience reached one, the lights delayed and turned on about 10 seconds after the countdown concluded.
Regardless of the delay, audience members cheered and clapped as the lights appeared.
The rest of the evening included the University Store’s 20% off storewide sale, photo opportunities with Santa Claus, Christmas crafts for children, cookie decorating and a longstanding tree decorating contest tradition at Christmas Tree Lane in the Hyrum Manwaring Center.
Center Stage also hosted a concert featuring Mat and Savanna Shaw in the John W. Hart Building.
The Christmas lighting tradition of the Taylor Quad began in 2018. At the time, there was no big pine tree as seen today, only the lighting of smaller surrounding trees.
“So, kind of funny story with that,” said Allen Jones, the student activities managing director. “We flipped the lights on and it was like there was an audible ‘Oh.’ So after that, we were like, we need something more ‘Wow.’ … then we bought the tree.”
There have been various tree lighting programs in BYU-I’s history, but nothing stuck as a tradition until 2019 when the large pine tree was placed in front of the John Taylor Building.
Jones said that the plans for Mat and Savanna Shaw coming to this year’s program have been in the works for almost a year. The planning process for other activities surrounding the lighting program started during the Spring semester of this year.
For prompts and ideas about how you can light the world each day during this Christmas season, you can text “LIGHT” to 71234. To view the new 2022 #LightTheWorld initiative video from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which was played at BYU-I’s Christmas tree lighting program, click here.