New Students Light a Luminary as Part of New Tradition at USU

LOGAN — Incoming students at Utah State University will participate in the second annual Connections Luminary, a new tradition at the institution. Students enrolled in the USU 1010 Connections course will each light a luminary lantern shaped like the tower of Old Main, and will participate in a processional from the Spectrum to the USU Quad on the Logan campus Friday, Aug. 25, at 9 p.m.


“This is significant and important because it is the exact opposite route that the students take when they participate in commencement and receive their degree,” said Lisa Hancock, vice president for student affairs under Student Orientation and Transition Services.

A video of the 2016 luminary procession is available at https://youtu.be/FJ3KXvjWPG0.


Prior to the procession, students will hear from Harrison Kleiner, who will speak about the significance of having an Alma Mater, and will frame the significance of the word commencement.

While many students see college graduation as an end, or a conclusion, it is, in fact, a beginning,” Hancock said. “Just as students will commence their time at USU this week, their graduation from USU will be the beginning of many more opportunities made possible by their efforts while obtaining their degree.”


After processing to the Quad, students will hear from USU President Noelle Cockett, who will welcome them and explain the meaning behind “lighting the A blue” on Old Main Tower.

“Lighting the “A” blue signifies a victory or honor bestowed upon the university or its students,” said President Cockett. “During their time at USU, students will encounter personal victories — both small and large — that they can compare to “lighting the A blue.”

President Cockett will turn the “A” on Old Main tower from white to blue, in honor of the incoming class of 2021.


At the conclusion of the event, the students will carry the lanterns to the south part of the Quad for a Connections class photo in the shape of a block “A.”


“By participating in the luminary, we hope students will focus on graduation from the very beginning of their college career, and that they will be better equipped to recognize their own personal victories along the way,” Hancock continued. “We hope students — many of whom could be considered the “Hogwarts generation”— will appreciate the ritual associated with starting a new phase in their life, especially one associated with the inspiring architecture of Old Main Tower.”


The public is invited to come to the northeast corner of the Quad at 9 p.m. to hold a blue luminary lantern and to line up along the sidewalk as the new students walk in the procession. Participants will be able to keep their lantern after the luminary.

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