Tennessee Tech’s Main Quad was bright with holiday spirit as the university celebrated its inaugural Lighting the Quad event Tuesday.
Thousands of students, faculty, staff and members of the Tennessee Tech community filled the lawn to the sound of holiday music played by the Golden Eagle Marching Band. On the steps of the Jere Whitson Memorial Building, President Phil Oldham welcomed the crowd.
“The Quad is a special place for all of us and we are honored to have so many join us to start this new Tennessee Tech tradition,” Oldham said.
First Lady Kari Oldham read a poem titled “The Night Before the Lighting,” written especially for the event.
“T’was the night before the lighting when all through the Quad not a creature was stirring and that was quite odd,” the poem read, following a rhythm reminiscent of the well-known “T’was the Night Before Christmas” poem. “When what to my wandering eyes would appear but the Eagle Bait truck and eight Tech engineers.”
As the poem ended, lights danced across the quad as décor hung from trees and decorating the area were lit.
“This is what community is all about and Tennessee Tech is such a vital part of Cookeville,” said Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton. “Cookeville would obviously not be what it is without Tennessee Tech and we are so excited that we are having this inaugural event.”
This year’s Mr. and Miss Tennessee Tech, Mason Hilliard and Emily Bass, introduced the Tennessee Tech Words of Light and led the crowd in reciting, “We are Golden Eagles. We light the Quad with hope. We serve others with passion. We care for each other. We soar without fear. We light the quad with hope. We are Golden Eagles.”
In Memorial Gym, refreshments and holiday activities welcomed the crowd.
“Moments like these make the school experience all the sweeter,” said Haque Ehite, an engineering major.
The event is set to become a true tradition at Tech, with plans to host the campus community on the quad each year to come.
The lights will remain on through the holiday season and visitors are encouraged to visit campus to enjoy them.
Tech First Lady Kari Oldham reads the poem "The Night Before the Lighting" at Lighting the Quad.
Guests at Lighting the Quad enjoy refreshments and holiday activities inside Memorial Gym at Lighting the Quad.
President Phil Oldham welcomes the campus community to the inaugural Lighting the Quad.
Holiday lights decorate the Main Quad.
The Golden Eagle Marching Band plays holiday music at Lighting the Quad.
Students enjoy photo opportunities at Lighting the Quad.