“Light the Fountain” foreshows warmer weather

“Light the Fountain” foreshows warmer weather

The University of North Alabama honored alumni Harry Smith with the 2019 “Light the Fountain” ceremony March 12.

Every winter, Harrison Fountain is shut off to prevent the pipes from being damaged due to the freezing temperatures. “Light the Fountain” is a traditional event on campus that lets students know that warmer weather is on the way.

The event began at 6:30 p.m. at Harrison Plaza. Tents were set up, where staff and faculty handed out hotdogs, chips, and beverages. Music enveloped the university in song.

From 6:45 p.m. to 7 p.m., Students waited in line for a raffle ticket with the potential of winning a bookstore scholarship of $250 and received a free “Light the Fountain” T-shirt.

“I think it’s a really good event for friends to get together,” said freshman Katie Eggenberger. “You don’t necessarily have to text them to meet up, but you come here and you find them. Or, someone who you haven’t seen in a while.”

Freshman Callie Murchison said there were a lot of people who came out to the event.

“It’s very lively,” Murchison said. “The music’s really good and the weather’s perfect.”

At 7:10 p.m., UNA staff and faculty put on a Step Sing Encore, dancing to songs such as Ariana Grande’s 7 Rings and Drip by Cardi B. Then at 7:15 p.m., UNA cheerleaders, dance team, and percussion put on a pep rally. However, the “Light the Fountain” ceremony officially started at 7:30 p.m.

Before the lights were turned on, UNA’s President Kenneth Kitts asked everyone to take a moment of silence in memory of Laura Harrison, who had provided the university with the fountain.

Afterwards, the countdown to 10 began and UNA Alumni Harry Smith lit up the fountain.

Light the Fountain is a neat experience,” Assistant Vice President and Title IX Coordinator of Student Affairs Tammy Jacques said. “It makes you feel like Spring is here. I love watching the students get excited and do the count down as the lights are turned on.”

Freshman Kaitlynn Haynes said she feels so blessed to be able to take part in such a beautiful event on the campus.

“I feel blessed to be surrounded by people who love this campus as much as I do,” Haynes said. “To see such as beautiful tradition to happen in this area, it’s so much fun and to see so many people come out to have a good time, is probably the best part to me.”

Junior Angela Cope said she liked it a lot more than she was expecting to, especially with the percussion and the music.

“It was more than I thought it was going to be,” Cope said. “Being a transfer, it is actually a really big deal and it’s like a really big event on campus, and I wasn’t expecting that. It’s really surprising and it really warmed my heart to see everyone be so enthusiastic about it.”

She said that she was “feeling it”, especially the hip-hop dance.

“No joke, I actually wanted to learn it myself afterward,” Cope said. “The teachers were great, that was a good little touch there. You know, you got to have the teachers.”