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Students kick off the season at third annual tree lighting event

November 27, 2012 : By Melissa Skinner/Liberty University News Service

Liberty University officially began its Christmas festivities Monday night with the third annual Christmas in Lights celebration hosted by Student Activities.

Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. and his wife, Becki, greeted the crowd in front of Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center.

“We decided that as the world’s largest Christian university we should have this celebration to ring in the Christmas season,” he said.

This year the chancellor threw a water bottle into the crowd and whoever caught the bottle was given the opportunity to light the tree. The recipient was Chris Taylor. As he lit the tree, students and the Lynchburg community cheered him on.

“I absolutely love this event. It really starts off the Christmas season right, everyone together singing carols, drinking hot cocoa, and enjoying the lights. I'm glad this is a tradition our school has started,” said Lena Wakim, a junior broadcast student.

Guests were also given a complimentary cup of hot chocolate and joined in singing some Christmas favorites, led by Liberty’s Brass Ensemble and various university choirs.

“I have been going to this event since it started in December 2010 because I enjoy being around my Liberty family celebrating the birth of our Savior,” said Natasha Ivanova, a junior international student from Belarus.

To continue celebrating the season this week, Student Activities is hosting a Christmas Campus Artist Series on Thursday at 8 p.m. in the Tilley Student Center, a double-feature movie night on Friday at 8 p.m. in the Vines Center, and a two-mile Reindeer Run on Saturday at 9 a.m. at Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre.

Next week, the Liberty University School of Music will present Christmas on the Boulevard, featuring the Symphony Orchestra, LU Praise, Center for Worship choirs and the Handbell Ensemble, from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4, in the Towns Alumni Auditorium. The popular late-night Christmas Coffeehouse will be held at 11:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, at the Vines Center.