by Genny Boots, News Writer

Catch some lutes in a special moment, enjoying the holiday cheer in Red Square.  by Samantha Lund
Catch some lutes in a special moment, enjoying the holiday cheer in Red Square.
by Samantha Lund

Lutes donned fuzzy hats, cozy mittens and warm drinks in Red Square to watch the 15th annual Christmas tree lighting. Students sang carols and watched Red Square light up Nov. 3. President Krise ceremoniously flipped the switch, lighting up the square.

The event is always the Wednesday before Christmas concerts start on campus, allowing everyone to get into the holiday spirit. Campus Ministry started the event as a way to fundraise money to decorate campus.

Eventually, Pacific Lutheran University had enough lights and the event has shifted into a fundraiser for families in need. Now students or community members can donate money and in return, get to put the name of a loved one on a star and that star will hang on the tree as a decoration. All of the proceeds from the fundraiser go to giving families in need presents and other necessities to give them a Christmas they would not be able to celebrate otherwise.

Reverends Nancy Connor and Dennis Sepper led the crowd in prayers and carols to welcome the Christmas season.

“It’s tree o’clock!” students yelled waiting for the tree to be lit.

The fir tree was donated by Linda and Dave Pyle (alums ’01, ’98) from the Windy Hills Farm in Olympia

The tree is accompanied by a star on the top of Harstad Hall as well as a lit cross on the other side of Red Square. The rose window on top of the Karren Hillie Phillips center is also lit up for the holidays.

The tree will shine throughout the holiday season and students will be able to donate, decorate and see the lights until the end of the semester. More Christmas events can be found on the Campus Ministry’s site as well as on PLU’s Calendar.

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Samantha Lund was the Editor in Chief at The Mast, a student-run newsroom within Pacific Lutheran University, in 2015-16. Lund created Mast Magazine in 2015 to give students a forum for long form news pieces. She could be found writing for Pacific Lutheran University's Marketing and Communication site or interning at MOViN 92.9's morning talk show in Seattle. Other places to find her content include: Alaska Airlines blog and website, The News Tribune and The Bremerton Harald.