December 07, 2011
A little rain couldn’t dampen the holiday spirits of scores of
students, faculty, alumni and staff who turned out for the 21st
Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at St. John’s University.
Despite the weather, the festive event went on as scheduled on
December 7, the highlight of the University’s week-long
Winter Carnival celebration.
Carnival signifies the beginning of our holiday season here at St.
John’s,” said Jodi Cox ‘98C, ‘02G, Director of Campus Life. “It’s
an amazing event that unifies the campus community during this
special time of year.”
For many, the evening began with The Vigil Mass for the Feast of
The Immaculate Conception, held in St.
Thomas More Church at the Queens campus. Immediately following
the Mass, guests moved outside to a soggy Great Lawn and watched a
brilliant laser light show that transformed the façade of St.
Augustine Hall into a tapestry of holiday colors.
The laser show led up to the much-anticipated lighting of the
University Christmas Tree by members of Student
Government, Inc., and Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M.,
President, St. John’s University. Dodging the raindrops, the crowd
counted down until the majestic tree’s lights came to life.
Immediately after the tree lighting, all eyes looked skyward for a
much-anticipated fireworks display by the world-famous Grucci
“Winter Carnival captures the true Spirit of what St. John’s is all
about,” said Mary H. Pelkowski, Associate Dean for Student
Engagement. “Its rich heritage and tradition is the celebration and
culmination of this Blessed and Holy Season. Despite the weather, I
think everyone enjoyed the festivities.”
Throughout the week leading up the lighting of the tree, campus was
a flurry of holiday activities including live music and dance,
horse-drawn carriage rides around the Great Lawn, a holiday bazaar,
and of course, holiday treats. St. Nick even took some time away
from his busy schedule to pay a visit to St. John’s and pose for
pictures with students.
The Staten Island
campus held its own Winter Carnival celebration on December 5,
featuring Christmas caroling, carriage rides, the lighting of the
Staten Island Christmas tree and more. “Our students loved taking
photos inside of the life-sized snow globe and riding around campus
in a Central Park horse-drawn carriage,” said Theresa Gallo-Osorio,
Associate Director of Student Life, Staten Island Campus. “It was a
great way for our campus community to come together to close out
the semester and celebrate the holiday season.”
With finals week commencing on December 12, Winter Carnival
provided a much-needed respite for students who have been preparing
for exams and completing final papers.
"Winter Carnival provides an opportunity for students to forget
about the stress of finals for a few moments and enjoy the holiday
season,” said Kevin Gover ‘13TCB, Vice President, Student
Government. “I can't think of a better way to end the semester than
with Christmas cookies, holiday giveaways and fireworks!"