Katie Cline, Editor-in-Chief
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at JSU. On Tuesday, November 28, President John Beehler, Dr. Pam Beehler and the JSU SGA invited students, faculty, staff and community to Bibb Graves Hall for the annual JSU in Lights tree-lighting celebration.
“My favorite part is the lights!” SGA President Ranger Rumrill said. “I enjoy seeing all of my friends and Gamecock family kick off the season by lighting up our beautiful campus.”
After a countdown from ten, President Beehler flipped the switch, and lights illuminated Bibb Graves. Additional lights can be seen at the President’s house, and a massive wreath hangs on the front of the TMB. The star on the top floor of the Houston Cole Library, which lit up on November 11 in honor of Veterans Day, will now be lit every night through the holiday season.
JSU in Lights also doubles as a community service opportunity each year. Guests were encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy to place under the Christmas in the Gold Room. The toys will then be donated to the Jacksonville Christian Outreach Center (JCOC) for families in need, ensuring that every child has a gift this Christmas.
“As members of the community, I think we play a huge role in setting a good example to our fellow neighbors and the future generations of our society by helping out those in need,” Rumrill said.
In addition to the toys guests brought, the Willow Tree boutique in Jacksonville presented the SGA with a check for $945 on Monday to benefit the JCOC.
The JSU Cheerleaders and Marching Ballerina—clad in Santa hats to match their traditional red and white “Santa suit” uniforms—were in attendance on Tuesday, and the JSU Show Choir provided entertainment, singing classic holiday songs like “Jingle Bells” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” After the official lighting, the show choir performed two choreographed numbers: “Puttin’ On the Ritz” from “Young Frankenstein” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”
Cocky, dressed as Santa Claus, posed for pictures with guests.
Following the lighting, guests were invited inside the Bibb Graves Gold Room for cookies and cider. While the cookies were gone before the crowd of roughly 200 were, guests could still admire the festive décor on the second floor of Bibb Graves, including two life-size nutcracker’s standing guard outside President Beehler’s office.
“Not only are we kicking off the Christmas and holiday season,” JSU President John Beehler said, “but, as you know, we are finishing up the semester and getting ready for final exams, and our professors are working hard to prepare those for you. I’m sure they’ll make them easy,” he joked.