Monday, March 2, 2015

SHSU Botanical Study-Evans Complex (Tree of Lights) Part 1 of 2. Self-Guided Tour #2

FITNESS WALKING ROUTE -Between 1.0 & 1.5 Mile

I love discovering the rich history our campus.  One of my favorites is the story connected to the SHSU "Tree of Lights".
When entering The Evans Complex, did you ever wonder why the building seems to wrap around the huge Red Cedar Tree?  It is because our 1st campus Christmas tree is that very same tree. 

Building designed around the Red Cedar Tree

  According to the "Sam Houston Normal Institute" Newsletter, December 21, 1921, vol. 1 we had our first campus Christmas Tree celebration.

Tree of Lights
Photo 1930 Alcalde (SHSU yearbook)
At 5:30 p.m. the Training School, as Sam Houston State was known at the time, celebrated with the community.  The University invited local school children to make ornaments for this tree.  Then at the ceremony, where these same children and their families attended and performed carols, also exchanged gifts with the child whose name they had previously drawn from a box.
The tree stayed decorated and lighted each night.  The campus was following New York City's tradition for several years previously, and Houston's newly formed tradition that was just two years old.
Aerial View of Tree of Lights

The article stated that Houston, "is not so fortunate as to have a growing tree, which may be used, but a large tree is placed on Main street and every night throughout the holidays is lighted." 
The Tree of Lights traditions and locations have changed over the many years since its' inception.  I will be addressing the progression of changes in the next blog.
Until Next Time.


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