CBU ushers in the Christmas season with traditional campus event
Riverside, Calif. (Dec. 4, 2019) – More than 2,000 students, staff and faculty members along with their friends and families gathered for the traditional tree lighting ceremony at California Baptist University on the Front Lawn on Dec 3. Participants also assembled more than 600 gift shoeboxes for Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child.
The annual event was organized by Associated Students of CBU, and the university’s Community Life and Spiritual Life offices. It featured manmade snow, photo booths with Santa Claus, holiday treats, hot drinks and a reading of the Christmas story.
Attendees were given candles as they arrived to the playing of festive music . Next, CBU President Dr. Ronald L. Ellis read the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke. Then attendees lit their candles and counted down to the lighting of the towering Christmas tree before singing “Silent Night.”
Shalia Eslick, a counseling psychology graduate student, helped to coordinate the Operation Christmas Child efforts.
“I enjoyed working behind the scenes and getting to know how many people it takes to do this,” Eslick said. “The boxes send a message to the receiver that they are loved by people who don’t even know them.”
Amy Gonzales, an early childhood studies major, said the event was an opportunity to spend time with friends while helping others.
“I really enjoyed being with my friends and enjoying the beginning of the Christmas season,” Gonzales said. “I think the event teaches us not to be selfish and give to others.”