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It will be lights, cameras, and all sorts of holiday action when one of the most highly anticipated traditions at Mississippi College once again heralds the arrival of another cherished Christmas season.
On Tuesday, Nov. 30, MC faculty, staff, students, and members of the community will gather near the heart of MC’s campus to witness the Lighting of the Quad, the precise moment at 7 p.m. when the famed green space will be richly illuminated by a host of brilliant Christmas lights.
According to Anna Jane Vancor, co-chair of the Lighting of the Quad Committee, after a more subdued celebration last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual event sponsored by the Campus Programming Board at MC will include all of the usual Lighting of the Quad activities designed to help everyone jump headfirst into the Christmas season.
“It’s definitely my favorite event on campus,” said Vancor, a junior marketing major from Flowood. “Our committee tries to put on the biggest and best Christmas event every year. There are lights, activities, food, picture opportunities – so many things to do.
“All of the students have just gotten back from Thanksgiving Break, and we go straight into Christmas. The lights will stay up until finals. It’s one of the biggest and last events put on this semester, all in celebration of the Christmas season.”
Jonathan Nutt, MC director of student engagement, said the students aren’t the only ones who enjoy the festive display each year.
“The students love Lighting of the Quad and it has truly become a tradition for everyone on campus, not just the students,” Nutt said. “It’s one of those events that really reminds you why MC is such a wonderful place – with everyone coming together to celebrate the season.”
Among the activities planned for Lighting of the Quad this season:
An abundance of holiday-themed backdrops will be strategically located throughout the Quad to offer ample photographic opportunities – especially for those looking for the perfect setting to take a family Christmas card photo.
A decorating station will provide all the materials needed for ornament lovers of all ages to create their own custom-made Christmas tree decorations.
All the while, talented MC student and faculty musicians and singers will be filling the air with popular and original selections of timeless Christmas music.
Throughout the night, MC’s social clubs and tribes will participate in a pair of lively competitions: a Christmas tree decorating contest and a gingerbread skyscraper challenge that is also open to outside organizations.
To reflect the true meaning of the Christmas season, Lighting of the Quad attendees will be invited to participate in a service project with students and faculty in MC’s Foundations of Servant Leadership class.
In partnership with Shower Power, a nonprofit organization that ministers to the homeless population in Jackson, MC students collected donations of toothbrushes, blankets, socks, and other necessities during MC’s Homecoming Week. Class members will be packaging the donations and writing messages of hope – personalized letters of encouragement with Bible verses – to distribute to members of that marginalized community.
Vancor said she and her fellow committee members consider it an honor to help bring the Lighting of the Quad event back to its fully illuminated glory at MC.
“In essence, two whole classes haven’t really been able to see what Lighting of the Quad really is,” she said. “To be able to have a part in planning it and executing it is super exciting and fun.
“It’s an event everyone loves.”
Tickets are not necessary to attend the free event on the MC campus.
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