UC’s fourth annual Celebration of Lights

Photo Courtesy of Jenni Berrios

Gillian Mccomeskey


With the holidays coming up, there’s no better time to celebrate culture, community and diversity. Ursinus College prides itself not only on the diversity of the campus but in the way that the school celebrates and respects all of the cultures.

On November 14, 2019 the “Students Today Alumni Tomorrow” group held its 4th annual Celebration of Lights event. It took place in Bomberger Auditorium. The event showcased various religions and celebrations.

The preparation was definitely not easy, but the STAT team did a remarkable job. “Some examples of the things I did to help were making sure guests had pamphlets, passing out and the lighting of the candles, reserving seats for the multiple participating parties, making sure we had tables for the food and activities,” said second-year Jo Bolda. 

“While as a STAT member, we are all involved in the planning processes of many of the large events on campus, we do have more focused groups that delve deeper into the individual planning of specific events. The Celebration of Lights, in particular, falls to the Traditions Committee,” Bolda said. The event provided traditional holiday snacks.

The event had representatives from different cultures and religions present about what they celebrate, as well as how they celebrate. “I think my favorite part would have been watching the musical performances as well as getting to learn about the different holidays celebrated this time of year,” second-year student Rachel Conhodd said. 

The all female acapella choir, B’Naturals, performed Rise Up by Andra Day. 

Senior Miriam Thomas reflected on her experience performing at her final Celebration of Lights event. 

Head of the Traditions Committee for STAT, Brianna Valerio, delegated tasks to members of the committee and was the go-to person for planning. 

Valerio explained the process of who would be interested in the event. 

“We reached out to groups who participated in the event before to see if they’d want to participate again and also reached out to new groups who have never participated before to see if they’d want to be a part of it,” she said.  

“I’m happy we got to bring so many cultural traditions to light during a time of year where some groups might not feel as represented as others. Celebration of lights has showed me that building community starts with the appreciation of a different perspective,” she said. 

Valerio expressed her enthusiasm in regards to the event. 

“Celebration of Lights is a beautiful event that I enjoy attending every year! I was so excited about the positive outcome this year and I really enjoyed it because the love and appreciation shown by the audience and everyone who participated was palpable,” she said. 

The event was extremely inspiring and informative due to the way it was conducted. By having such a broad spectrum of cultures and religions, students were really allowed to engage and connect with the different traditions.