One of Tusculum College’s oldest traditions was renewed on Tuesday (December 15) as seniors passed on their legacy of campus leadership to underclassman in the Lantern Festival.
The evening also included one of the College’s newest traditions, the Golden Lantern presentation, in which the graduating seniors recognize the professors who made the most significant impact on their lives at Tusculum. Both ceremonies were held in the lobby of the Thomas J. Garland Library.
The Lantern Festival derives part of its significance from the College’s motto of “Sit Lux,” (Let There Be Light) and the lantern as a symbolic representation of that motto. The Lantern Bearers are selected from senior students who attain the honor through their leadership on campus, and the Lantern Festival gives those seniors the opportunity to pass the honor of being a Lantern Bearer to another upperclassman who will continue student leadership on campus.
The graduating seniors were welcomed by Dr. Nancy B. Moody, president of the College, who commended them for all their hard work in reaching their educational goal. She also encouraged the students to use the occasion as a time to reflect on their friends who had helped them reach their goals as well as the faculty and staff members who assisted and mentored them.
Each of the graduating seniors then had the opportunity to pass their lantern and robe to a fellow student and briefly tell how that individual had made a difference in their lives at Tusculum.
Together the seniors and their chosen recipients placed their lanterns with others displayed at the ceremony to form a “T.”
Heather Newton of Greeneville, Tenn., then addressed her fellow graduating seniors and the underclassmen in attendance. She encouraged the underclassmen to not give up even when the challenges look insurmountable and to seek help from those around them on campus because they will find friends, staff and faculty who are willing and want to help.
The ceremony then turned to the Golden Lantern pinning, in which the graduating seniors shared about the professor (s) who had had the most impact in their lives at the College. Recognized by the students were Dr. Angela Keaton, assistant professor of commons and history; Dr. David Key, assistant professor of history; Jeff Lokey, assistant professor of management; Dr. Debra McGinn, assistant professor of biology, and Dr. Stephen Weisz, assocciate professor of religious studies. The faculty members received a golden lantern pin and a card written by the student expressing why he or she was chosen for the recognition.
A reception for the seniors followed the ceremony.