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Upcoming Festival of Light looks to unite campus

Throughout alumni weekend on March 23-25, Rollins will host reunions, dinners, presentations, and other events to honor its alumni. The Festival of Light will be yet another festivity.

The college will host the Festival of Light on March 24 from 8:30-11 p.m. as a part of the reunion-filled weekend.

According to Dr. Laurie Kyle Houck, vice president for institutional advancement, the Festival of Light is a way for students and alumni to get together and celebrate.

President Cornwell agreed, stating that the Festival is “a celebration of the Rollins community… it’s a very special time when students and faculty and staff and alumni can get together and enjoy a beautiful Florida spring evening.”

The event will include a dance floor and a performance by the Buzzcatz, who performed for the last Festival of Light.

Blue and gold glow necklaces, honoring the college’s colors, will also be available to those in attendence. As for refreshments, Sodexo will be planning a menu based on the food served in Dave’s Boathouse. In addition, beer and wine will be served for those 21 and older.

In keeping with its title, central campus buildings will have  their lights turned on during the festival. String lights and morewill be strewn across campus, as well.

Dr. Houck stated that Rollins will be using the globes from the 2016 Festival that were bought from the city of Winter Park. These are the same globes used by Winter Park to light up Park Avenue during the winter holdiay season. The globes come in blue, white and gold, and will be strung across Fairbanks to the Bush Science Center.

The first informal Festival of Light occurred when Hugh Mckean was named acting president, says Dr. Houck. Students lit up their windows, and the campus carried the newly elected president on their shoulders.

The Festival of Light occurred again following Mckean’s inauguration in 1951 and was seen as a rededication to the Rollins motto Fiat Lux, which translates to “let there be light.”

In 2016, the second official Festival of Light occurred in concurrence with the inauguration of President Cornwell. “We invited all students, faculty, staff, local alumni to attend,” said Dr. Houck. “Everyone liked it so much, especially the students, [they] wanted to do it again.”

Dr. Houck then thought that it would be best to do the Festival during alumni weekend so alumni could take part in the event. The President’s office then partnered with the Alumni office to incorporate the festival into its planned events.

As for whether or not the event will continue in the coming years, President Cornwell said it is up for the students to decide. “We’re going to keep doing it as long as it remains vibrant and alive… as long as the students enjoy it and enjoy coming together, we’ll do it.”

The event is open to all alumni, students, faculty, and staff.

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