Biola welcomes Christmas season with annual Christmas Tree Lighting

For the first time in two years the Biola community gathered to ring in the season.

Caleb Jonker, News Editor

Students, staff and alumni gathered tonight for Biola’s annual Christmas Tree  Lighting on Metzger Lawn. The tree lighting was the first in two years, President Barry Corey noted.

COREY WELCOMES BIOLA COMMUNITY

Corey opened with a greeting to students, staff and alumni welcoming those who attended in person and online. 

“You are Biolans for life,” Corey said, reminding the audience of the significance of the season. “This is what we do at Biola University, unapologetically so.”

BIOLA HONORS ALUMNI AND STAFF

Corey highlighted alumni serving communities affected by COVID-19 during the pandemic. All readers for the night served in specific careers that directly impacted communities that experienced the effects of COVID-19. Among the fields represented were health care, nonprofit, church ministry and education. 

Provost and Senior Vice President Deborah Taylor was also honored tonight, as she will retire from her current position at the end of the Spring 2022 semester. Her family joined Taylor to read the Christmas story.

Concluding his welcome Corey highlighted the other Christmas traditions that Biola enjoys, such as the Advent Project and Operation Christmas Child, before thanking the people who made the night possible.

READINGS AND ILLUMINATION

Readings were led and interspersed with song as the crowd prepared for the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Alumnus David Newman reminded the audience of the significance of light, while alumnus Ernest Arco Cabera invited the audience to consider the significance of the season. 

“Think of God’s gift to us: the light of the world and the amazing beauty that is held in that gift,” Cabera said. “Light came to us, light overcame darkness for us and that light lives inside of us.”

The staff from the Biola Health Center lit the tree. Before they lit the tree, it was announced that the Health Center “administered over 18,000 COVID-19 tests, cared for over 8,000 students and had 32,000 phone calls, emails and in-person inquiries.”

Health Center Director Sarah Templeton led the countdown for the illumination of the tree, and as lights came on, artificial snow filled the air. To end the night, the worship band led a number of Christmas songs.

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