During their last hectic week before graduation, seniors took the time for fellowship with friends, to remember their time at Tusculum College and to pass their legacy on to underclassmen.
On May 3, 60 students gathered for the Lantern Festival, one of the longest-running traditions of the college. Seniors Vanessa Fyffe and Glenn Vicary addressed their classmates, reminiscing about their time and experiences at Tusculum.
The ceremony was held at the Thomas J. Garland Library after the seniors participated in a processional march from the Niswonger Commons. The processional, according to Dean of Students David McMahan, symbolizes the seniors “showing the light” to those who follow in their footsteps.
McMahan explained the symbolism to the gathered crowd of approximately 75 students, faculty and staff, adding the in this context, Tusculum College’s motto of “Sit Lux,” which means “let there be light” is interpreted as the students represent the light.
Fyffe and Vicary each told their personal experience and placed a “call for boldness in leadership” to the juniors, and introduced the passing of the “light” in the form of their lanterns. Dressed in their commencement robes, seniors individually came forward and presented their lanterns to the underclassmen, telling why they had chosen the student to receive the lantern, the symbol of the senior’s legacy.
“You represent individuality, creativity and strength,” said senior Brian Ricker to junior Elizabeth McDonald, “The three things that embody my time here.”
Senior Estefania Chavez passed her light to junior Simon Hozapfel and encouraged him to continue in service and be a role model for others to come, and Mary Ann Vizcarrondo passed her light to younger sister Adriana Vizcarrondo, “her sister and best friend.”
After the emotional ceremony, students celebrated as a group and formed a giant “T” on the library stairs with the lighted lanterns.