Hundreds of students, staff and community members gathered on campus last Friday to attend Lighting of the Quads, a long-upheld Hopkins tradition. The event was sponsored by the Parents Fund, Hopkins Dining and the Office of Leadership Engagement and Experiential Development, and over 4,000 guests registered to attend.
Lighting of the Quads, which celebrates the conclusion of the fall semester and introduces the holiday season, is held annually. This year marks its 17th anniversary as well as a return to in-person celebration following last year’s virtual event.
From 6 to 8 p.m., Hopkins organizations hosted activities in Keyser Quad, such as a selfie booth, DIY tote bag designing, and gingerbread house building. Guests lined up to take pictures with the holiday-themed backdrops and decorations present throughout the quad.
Homewood Recycling, the Center for Social Concern, Athletics and the Life Design Lab were among the Hopkins associations present at the event. Such associations presented giveaways, food and informational sessions for students. The Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design, for example, provided material on student employment and internships.
Performances by a cappella groups Adoremus, the Octopodes, Humming Jay and the Sirens occurred throughout the night, creating an air of liveliness and lightheartedness. The Entertainers Club delighted audiences with fire spinning, and the Pep Band also performed, keeping spirits high.
In an interview with The News-Letter, junior Rachel Xu, a member of the Pep Band, described how Lighting of the Quads signified a sense of community at Hopkins.
“It was a lot of fun to see all of the faces in the crowd,” they said. “It was just like, wow, we do have a time of year at Hopkins where we all come together.”
During the latter half of the event, University President Ronald J. Daniels gave a speech on the steps of Gilman Hall.
During his speech, protestors held up a sign reading “What makes you feel safe? We do not consent to JHU private police.” The sign directed attendees to follow the Coalition Against Policing at Hopkins on social media.
As in past years, Daniels hosted a trivia session for students before thanking Hopkins members for a safe and successful semester.
“The Lighting of the Quads [is] an expression of appreciation by all of us for all that you have done this year to make Hopkins come back to be alive, to be dynamic — [for] the incredible community, even with masking and distancing and testing, that you have made come alive,” Daniels said.
Daniels’ speech ended with a countdown to lighting up Gilman Hall and to lights coming on all across campus. A lengthy display of fireworks was set off, concluding the ceremony on an exhilarating, memorable note.
Graduate student Shruti Hegde discussed her experience at the event in an email to The News-Letter.
“I really enjoyed attending the event, especially watching the fireworks at the end,” she wrote. “All the events were great, but it would probably have been a good decision to have mandatory masking.”
In comparison to last year’s virtual event, this year’s Lighting of the Quads was much more spirited, boosting student morale and bringing the campus together. A wonderful way to wrap up the end of fall semester classes and unwind before finals, it was a successful event and yet another memorable addition to this fall tradition.