Illumination Night

Well, I sure have been off the ‘blog-o-sphere’ of late!  Today is the first day of our second weekend of reunion events here at Smith.  Last weekend was the big one for seniors: Commencement was held on Sunday morning, May 18th.  There were lot’s of families, friends and supporters of Smith on campus.  The weather was fairly cooperative, except for the Saturday night rain out of Illumination Night.  Everyone loves Illumination Night, so there were many disappointed folks out there.

What is Illumination Night, you ask?  One of the earliest mentions of the night is in the Hampshire County Journal of June 23, 1888 when it describes, “…The College ground were brilliantly decorated with Chinese lanterns Tuesday night, when the annual reception took place in Hillyer art gallery…”  1,000 lanterns lit campus that night.  As the years progressed music became an important part of the festivities with the Glee Club, alumnae and step singing happening.  Singing competitions were held on the steps of the old Students Building.  In the 1950s the Glee Club performed on the island in Paradise Pond.  Today there is still plenty of musical activity to Illumination Night, including group singing, and formal bands playing.  When the rain does come down, Illumination Night has been held in various places: the College Hall Social Hall, Alumnae Gymnasium, the Indoor Track and Tennis Courts, and now the Campus Center.


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