About a half mile from the White County Courthouse Square in Searcy is the campus of Harding University. It is a small, private college, with an enrollment of 4,492 students, and has been recognized nationally as one of the top regional universities of the South.
They also have an absolutely impressive Christmas light display. More than 100,000 lights are strung throughout the campus; a spectacular winter wonderland!
It’s no small feat to illuminate this 350 acre campus. Planning begins early in the year, and in October, staff begin the daunting task of hanging lights.
There’s no doubt that it’s worth all the time and effort. It’s traditions like these that promote a sense of community, something that the leadership at Harding deems important.
I would think that it’s a great boost to student morale. Just picture it. It’s the end of the semester, a time when the typical student is inundated with research papers, reading assignments, and final examinations. Exhausted and probably a little homesick, she walks out of the library, headed to the dorm. She is greeted, not by the dark, chilly night, but by thousands of twinkling holiday lights. Her worrisome scowl is replaced by a youthful smile. Christmas is around the corner, and things are going to be okay!
It may not be as easy as that, but I’m sure that most, if not all, of the students do appreciate the effort.
Additionally, the campus tradition is available for everyone to enjoy. The public is welcome to enjoy the lights, which will be around until the first of the year.