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Campus busy for Christmas at USF

A record number of community members set aside the usual holiday hustle-and-bustle to attend numerous events at the university’s annual Christmas at USF on Dec. 2.

Christmas in the Castle, rapidly expanding as a regional holiday favorite, wowed over 1,300 visitors on Christmas at USF Sunday, with a record 2,700 local residents enjoying the tours both weekends and on Senior Day at the Castle on Dec. 7. The increase of 300 visitors equates to an entire extra day in the event’s previous years, said coordinator Jan Patterson. Local residents toured all three levels of restored Brookside, festively adorned for Christmas by local decorators and designers, with crowds flowing evenly throughout the well-organized event, Patterson said. A packed house enjoyed the annual Christmas Concert in the North Campus auditorium at 7 p.m. as well, taking time before and after the show to browse through highlights from the university’s permanent collection in Lupke Gallery. An alumni and faculty exhibition was also open to the public in Weatherhead Gallery at the School of Creative Arts.

The Living Nativity and Lighting of the Lake drew broadcast media attention. Luminaries purchased in memory or celebration of loved ones or special events ringed Mirror Lake magically as USF students, faculty and staff member reenacted the first Nativity.

While warm and damp, rather than cold and snowy, weather heralded USF’s Christmas celebration for the community, sky-watchers gathered in Schouweiler Planetarium to view the winter sky over Fort Wayne and learn how the star of the magi may have coursed through the heavens over Bethlehem in olden times. The Star of Bethlehem show enjoyed a three-weekend run to accommodate lovers of the Christmas heavens.

For over 30 years, USF has invited the public to campus to enjoy the beauty and meaning of the Christmas season, held in such reverence by the USF community and believers everywhere.

Check out our Flickr gallery of Christmas at USF photos.

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