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SBU News > Events > Annual Light the Brook Celebration Draws Largest Crowd Ever

Annual Light the Brook Celebration Draws Largest Crowd Ever

Light the brook 2023 7
Light the brook 2023 featured
The sixth annual Light the Brook ceremony illuminated the Academic Mall on November 8. Photos by John Griffin.

Stony Brook University held its sixth annual Light the Brook celebration on November 8, lighting up the academic mall to honor the achievements of students and the wider campus community as the holiday season begins. This year’s event was hosted by the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs and SBU Eats.

The ceremony began at 4 pm at the administration fountain and included student performances, guest speakers, club tabling and a countdown special before the Academic Mall was illuminated with an array of vibrant lights when darkness fell around 5:30 pm. The special event also featured giveaways, crafts, hot chocolate and desserts.

Light the brook 2023 inset“Light the Brook started six years ago when USG leadership wanted to do something about the dreary winter and the fact that it gets darker much earlier,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Rick Gatteau as he addressed the crowd. “They went to the store and bought lights and decorated a couple of trees on their own, and a new Stony Brook tradition was born.”

The event has grown bigger and more popular, drawing its largest crowd ever this year.

“It literally transforms our campus and kicks off the holiday season and you feel like you’re in a winter wonderland,” said Gatteau, who also noted the importance of building bridges in a world that has become ever more divisive.

“Light the Book reminds us of our shared values of community, care, and support, celebrating our shared, humanity, being kind to one another, and embracing our differences,” he said. “I’m proud that this great tradition grown bigger every year.”

“This year’s Light the Brook ceremony was an incredible reminder of how gorgeous our campus can be throughout the colder months,” said USG president Devin Lobosco, a junior majoring in biochemistry and women’s and gender studies. “The event would not have been possible this year without the amazing support of Student Affairs and FSA, and we are all looking forward to many wonderful Light the Brooks to come.”

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