Teaching & Learning

USU's Luminary Ceremony to Return Before Start of Fall Semester 2022

Students hold lanterns shaped like Old Main's tower during 2021's Luminary at the Logan campus. The ceremony returns for 2022 on Aug. 26.

Incoming students will participate in the seventh annual Connections Luminary, a beautiful tradition at Utah State University, the Friday before Fall Semester 2022.

Students enrolled in the USU 1010 Connections course will each light a luminary lantern shaped like the tower of Old Main and will participate in a processional from the Spectrum to the Quad at 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26. This is significant because it is the exact opposite route that the students take when they participate in commencement and receive their degree.

Prior to the procession to the Quad, students will hear from Philosophy Professor Harrison Kleiner.

“When you graduate from the university you call it your ‘alma mater’ — Latin for nourishing mother — because someone will have been born of it,” Kleiner said. “What we encourage the new students to think about is what kind of transformative experience they want to have at USU; who they want to become and how USU can help them achieve those dreams.”

While many students see college graduation as an end, or a conclusion, it is, in fact, a beginning. Just as students will commence their time at USU this week, their graduation from USU will be the beginning of many more opportunities made possible by their efforts while obtaining their degree.

After proceeding to the Quad and posing for a class picture in the shape of the Block A, students will hear from President Noelle E. Cockett, who will welcome them and explain the meaning behind “lighting the A blue” on Old Main Tower. Lighting the A blue signifies a victory or honor bestowed upon the university or its students. During their time at USU, students will encounter personal victories — both small and large — that they can compare to “lighting the A blue.” President Cockett will change the A on Old Main tower from white to blue in honor of the incoming class of 2022.

Senior Alicia Goodrich had this to say about the Luminary: “It was a really nice way to start my journey at USU. I liked the cool symbolism that the start of my journey would reverse mirror what the graduation processional would look like. It was one of the first moments I felt like I was truly a part of the Aggie Family. Especially now that I’m going to graduate this year, it’s exciting to know it’ll be a full-circle moment.”

The public is invited to come to the east side of the Quad at 8:15 p.m. to hold a blue luminary lantern and to line up along the sidewalk as the new students walk to the Quad. Participants will be able to keep their lantern after the Luminary. Parking is available in the Big Blue Terrace and the Aggie Terrace.

A video of last year’s Luminary is available at https://youtu.be/KtWtsjvaTJE.


Stacie Denetsosie
International Orientation Program Coordinator
Student Orientation and Transition Services
(435) 797-0574


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