Sacred Heart University gathered its community in a warm embrace with the lighting of a Christmas tree Nov. 29 on its West Campus, formerly the site of GE headquarters in Fairfield.
More than 200 students, faculty and staff joined campus neighbors to watch the tall evergreen come ablaze with more than 30,000 red and white lights, representing Sacred Heart’s colors. They also joined the SHU Brass Ensemble and members of the SHU Choirs in singing Christmas songs, ranging from traditional favorites to pop culture classics. University mascot Big Red and Santa Claus circulated among the visitors, offering season’s greetings and eliciting smiles, good will and cheer.
From its post near the edge of the grounds on Easton Turnpike, the 55-foot tree has been a traditional harbinger of the season for commuters on the Merritt Parkway for many years. Working with Eastern Land Management, a commercial landscaping company in Stamford, Sacred Heart has placed its own indelible stamp on the display, for a welcome and festive addition to its West campus and to Fairfield.
“When the University acquired the property, I was concerned the tree lighting would cease but, not only has SHU continued the tradition, it has expanded it by embracing and encouraging participation of the community in the event,” said one visitor who was enjoying the festivities.
A second tree lighting took place the following night on the quad at the University’s Park Avenue campus.