During its Centennial Celebration held throughout 2023, Texas Tech University is shining a light on its past, present, and future, with eyes fixed on the horizon. To kick off this monumental, yearlong event and welcome a new era, the cutting-edge university is opting for a little more brilliance than just one light can provide: 25,000 red, orange, and white lights, to be exact. The 64th annual Carol of Lights is ushering in the Texas Tech Centennial Celebration on December 2, 2022. Equal parts tried-and-true traditions and thrilling new spectacles, this event will pay homage to what defined the past century and the possibilities that lie ahead for the next generation of Red Raiders. And if you’ve ever gazed at the dazzlingly illuminated campus surrounded by the vast West Texas landscape, well, you know there is no better spot to begin the journey.
A Texas Tech mainstay, the Carol of Lights — sponsored by the Texas Tech Residence Halls Association and produced in conjunction with the Office of the President — is attended each year by more than 20,000 students and residents, bringing together the deep, interlacing roots of both the campus and its Lubbock home. The Red Raider pride runs deep.
This celebrated start to the holiday season began in the 1950s, when Dr. Gene Hemmle gathered with students in Memorial Circle to sing Christmas carols and drink hot chocolate. The tradition quickly became a favorite, and by 1992, Carol of Lights received a Certificate of Registration from the State of Texas, making its name an official registered trademark for Texas Tech. It continues to adapt and grow with the years. Today, 100 percent of the bulbs that line the campus buildings are LED, including those on the Christmas tree and its star. This conservation effort has reduced energy usage by 84 percent. Like the origins of Tech itself, the gathering’s humble beginnings grew and grew to eventually become a Red Raider must, becoming as synonymous with campus life as the toll of the Victory Bells.
Beginning at 6:30 pm in the Memorial Circle and Science Quadrangle, this year’s Carol of Lights will be one to remember. While the Masked Rider will no doubt make an appearance and the famed choir is sure to take the stage, expect a reimagined celebration with live entertainment, brand-new staging and lighting, and a kaleidoscope of colors illuminating the sky in a jaw-dropping fireworks show.
Enjoy the harmonic melodies of the Texas Tech University Combined Choirs, then dance the night away to the tunes of the legendary Maines Brothers Band followed by a true Lone Star State-style show by the American roots-rock icon Wade Bowen. The Carol of Lights is family-friendly and free for all to experience and enjoy. The next chapter will deepen the meaning behind the school’s motto: From Here, It’s Possible. Paying homage to what began on February 10, 1923, thousands of students, alumni, and Lubbock residents will gather as vibrant buildings and a towering tree illuminate the West Texas sky.
Learn more and experience the Centennial Celebration at 100.ttu.edu.