Campus Community / People of SU

Seattle U Safely Celebrates a Seasonal Tradition

November 17, 2020

Image of tree branches surrounding text that reads Seattle U Christmas Tree Lighting.

Image credit: Center for Student Involvement

With the health of our campus community remaining a top priority, Seattle University departments from across campus are working together to provide new ways of fostering holiday spirit during the pandemic.

On Thursday, Dec. 3, free seasonal events open to the public will be held virtually throughout the day, leading up to the first Virtual Christmas Tree Lighting program:

  • Holiday Love: How to Communicate with Your Loved Ones
    Hosted by Wellness & Health Promotion | 11:30 a.m.­‑12:30 p.m.

  • Pie Time with OMA
    Hosted by Ashlee Day, assistant director, Office of Multicultural Affairs | 3-4 p.m.

  • Rudy’s Holiday Photo Booth
    Hosted by the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) & Athletics | 5:30-6:30 p.m.

  • Alumni Advent Celebration
    Celebrate Advent with a short prayer service featuring President Stephen Sundborg, S.J., followed by time to connect with fellow alumni before the lighting ceremony, hosted by Alumni Engagement. | 6-8 p.m. (registration required)

  • Christmas Tree Lighting 2020
    Featuring remarks from President Sundborg, a video showcasing the spirit of our community after an unprecedented year and student performances. | 7-8 p.m.

“Campus traditions such as the Christmas Tree Lighting are vital to our institutional Jesuit identity,” says De’Andre Jones, assistant director of events & traditions at the Center for Student Involvement (CSI).

“It brings the community together in a way that not only celebrates the Christmas holiday, but also the ability to integrate inclusion and awareness of other holiday observances that are celebrated by members of our campus community.”

The event as a whole is the result of strong campus partnerships within Student Development, including Athletics, Campus Ministry, the International Student Center, KXSU, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Student Success & Outreach, Wellness & Health Promotions, the Office of Alumni Engagement, Facilities, SU Choir programs and Marketing Communications.

As one of the most heavily attended events hosted by campus each year, the tree lighting is not only an “opportunity for students, faculty and staff to engage in a community building experience that occurs outside of the classroom, but it’s also an opportunity for our alumni and Seattle community at-large … of all backgrounds and walks of life to come together, sing, pray reflect and be merry as we head into the new year,” says Jones, who leads the planning and coordination of the annual Christmas event.

While he acknowledges this year has been unlike any other, he says he’s thrilled “to be able to maintain the integrity of this valuable campus tradition. We have a fantastic program planned and I feel confident this virtual experience will promote the sense of community and pride within the Redhawk community that we all have come to love and expect from this event.”

Rudy's Advent Calendar: Dec. 1-25

Join Seattle U Athletics in celebrating the upcoming holiday season with a digital Rudy's Advent Calendar. Each day you will find a fun fact about SU Athletics plus a suggestion for a random act of kindness. Share a photo of you completing this act and you will be entered into a drawing for a vacation in Palm Springs. Learn more and resgister here.

To RSVP and for more information, visit Connect SU or email CSI at All holiday events (except the Alumni Advent Celebration and Rudy's Advent Calendar) will take place though this Zoom link on Dec. 3. To register for the aumni event, register here or email Stephanie Jamieson at with any questions.