Carol of Lights ®
With the flip of a switch, more than 25,000 colored lights illuminate 18 buildings around Memorial Circle, the Engineering Key and the Broadway Entrance to the campus during Texas Tech University's Carol of Lights®.
The 57th Annual Carol of Lights® was held on Tuesday, December 1, 2015. The Ceremony began at 6:30 p.m. with a Carillon Concert. At 7:00 p.m., the Masked Rider and Horse, Saddle Tramps Torch Light Processional and High Riders began at the University Seal at the Broadway Entrance and followed the luminaria lighted route around Memorial Circle to the Science Quadrangle.
The Tech Trombone Choir, under the direction of Jim Decker, accompanied the Texas Tech University Combined Choirs.
The lights were turned on every night from dusk until midnight from December 2, 2015 through January 1, 2016.
The 58th annual Carol of Lights® is projected to be held on Friday, December 2, 2016.
Our official hashtag will be #TTUCOL!
History and Fun Facts
This annual event, sponsored by the Texas Tech Residence Halls Association, is attended by over 20,000 Tech students and local residents. The Carol of Lights® is one of Texas Tech's largest and oldest traditions. The event brings together both the Texas Tech and Lubbock communities during its ceremonies.
In the 1950s, Dr. Gene Hemmle, co-founder of the Carol of Lights®, got together with a small group of students in the residence halls. They gathered at Memorial Circle to sing Christmas carols and drink hot chocolate. The first Carol of Lights® was organized in 1959, with 5,000 lights. In 1961, the event was officially named the Carol of Lights and had grown to 16,000 lights. The ceremony has continued every year except in 1972, when Texas Tech canceled the event because of the university's energy conservation policy.
In 1992, the Carol of Lights® received a Certificate of Registration from the State of Texas.
In late September, a team from the University Physical Plant begins securing lights on the buildings. They work daily for over a month (in both good and bad weather!) to have the buildings ready for the celebration.
2014 marked the first year that 100% of the bulbs used were LED. This 5 year transition of bulbs is estimated to reduce energy consumption needed to light the bulbs by roughly 84%.
A 38-foot Christmas Tree (and 5 foot star) was updated in 2014 to include all white LED bulbs. The tree purchased in 2014 is also sturdier and more reliable.
Members of the Women's Service Organization (WSO) will set up the 20 foot wreath made of fresh cut pine limbs on the Science Building. The pine branches used to adorn the wreathe are cut by the TTU grounds crew on the TTU campus.
ALPHA PHI OMEGA and CHI Rho placed 3,000 luminaries around Memorial Circle the night of the ceremony.
Read more about the history of this tradition at Texas Tech Today:
Questions and Concerns
The Carol of Lights is possible through the cooperative efforts of many student organizations on the Texas Tech campus. We appreciate any effort you can make to publicize this event. If you have any concerns or questions regarding the Carol of Lights®, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year, over 7,000 people watched the Carol of Lights® through one of the broadcast options.