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Columbia celebrates with annual Tree Lighting and Yule Log ceremonies

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Columbia University community came together on December 5 to celebrate the holiday season at the annual Tree Lighting and Yule Log ceremonies. Trees along College WalkPHOTO: Colin Sullivan CC '11

The Tree Lighting Ceremony began in 1998 and has become an annual celebration of the lighting of the trees on College Walk. The Yule Log Ceremony can be traced back to the first decades of Columbia’s founding as King’s College. Its roots lie in medieval Scandinavia, where lighting a log was a pagan celebration of the warmth and spirit of the season. Each year, the Blue Key Society honors this tradition by processing with the Yule Log through campus and lighting the log in the hearth of John Jay Lounge. 

The evening featured remarks by Columbia College Dean James J. Valentini, Engineering Dean Mary C. Boyce, Barnard Dean of the College Avis E. Hinkson and General Studies Dean Peter J. Awn. There were also performances by Columbia a capella groups, warm beverages and treats. 

In the spirit of the season, the Columbia Milvets, NROTC, CUFSN and CU’s Heavyweight Rowers were accepting donations for Toys for Tots and selling Santa hats to benefit hurricane relief. 

Following the Tree Lighting Ceremony, alumni were invited to a reception in Carman Lounge. 

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