Samford University will host two of its most beloved holiday traditions Dec. 3: Hanging of the Green and Lighting of the Way.
The Hanging of the Green service begins at 6 p.m. in Samford’s Reid Chapel, followed by the Lighting of the Way ceremony about 7 p.m. along Centennial Walk and around the University Quadrangle.
The Hanging of the Green service also will be available via live stream for those who cannot attend in person.
Hanging of the Green is based on an old English custom. The event consists of hanging garland around Reid Chapel, lighting an Advent wreath, decorating a Christmas tree and listening to Christmas music from the University Chorale and Bells of Buchanan. Former director of campus ministries Ginny Bridges Ireland began the Samford tradition in 1980. It has since morphed into a favorite tradition for many students and faculty.
Fourteen senior honorees will lead the Hanging of the Green service. These students are nominated by Samford employees and must turn in an application detailing their involvement on campus. The honorees include the following:
Laura Bean, a Brock Scholar from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Walker Edmondson, a religion major from Oneonta, Alabama
Andrew Feldewerth, a marketing major from Dunwoody, Georgia
Joshua Harper, a finance major from Warrior, Alabama
Hannah Holland, a religion major from Pontotoc, Mississippi
Camille Honts, a religion major Chapmansborro, Tennessee
Joshua Kimberlin, a sports administration major from Olive Branch, Mississippi
Molly McCoy, an interior design major from Macon, Georgia
Cory Mulligan, a journalism and mass communication major from Roswell, Georgia
Savannah Newman, a mathematics major from Sandy Springs, Georgia
Anna Grace Rutledge, an economics major from Rome, Georgia
Christina Schmitt, a religion major from Johns Creek, Georgia
Conrad Shaw, instrumental music major from Brentwood, Tennessee
Daniel Tankersley, a piano major from Vestavia Hills, Alabama
Philip Poole, Samford’s executive director of communication, his wife, Shellyn, and their family will be recognized as this year’s Chrismon family. Each year, a Samford family is selected to decorate and add a Chrismon ornament to the tree in Reid Chapel.
Following the Hanging of the Green, the Lighting of the Way will take place on Centennial Walk. Samford First Lady Jeanna Westmoreland will read the Christmas story. Students will also have an opportunity to participate in a canned food drive and write Christmas cards to sick children. Singer and songwriter Steve Moakler will perform a concert on Centennial Walk, and desserts and hot chocolate will be available.
“Lighting of the Way is a beloved Samford tradition that helps to mark the official beginning of the Christmas season at Samford,” said Paige Acker, Samford’s director of student activities and events. “It is combination of the true spirit of Christmas and fellowship with the Samford community. We hope everyone can come together for a wonderful evening before the stress of finals begins. It is not just for Samford students, but an opportunity for the entire Samford community to celebrate the joy of the season.”Emily Duval and Jimmy Lichtenwalter are journalism and mass communication majors and news and feature writers in the Office of Marketing and Communication.