Fordham Lincoln Center Rings in Holiday Season With Christmas Tree Lighting

Hundreds of Lincoln Center undergraduate students gathered in the plaza on Dec. 2 to watch the annual Christmas tree lighting



Both the Fordham Chamber Choir and the F-Sharps performed a variety of holiday carols at the tree lighting event.


Approximately 800 students gathered in the plaza to celebrate the annual United Student Government (USG) Christmas tree lighting on Thursday, Dec. 2. 

Joe VanGostein, Gabelli School of Business at Lincoln Center (GSBLC) ’22 and USG president, said the goal of the event was to “bring as many different parts of the community together,” which included partnering with the Office of Alumni Relations and inviting the Chamber Choir and F-Sharps to sing at the tree lighting. 

Thanks to a donation from the Office of Alumni Relations, a variety of lights, decorations and inflatables were set up throughout the plaza, setting the holiday mood while the students mingled.

The event went smoothly and served as a celebration of students’ return to campus.

At the check-in line, students were gifted festive holiday mugs. Tables scattered around the plaza held ornaments, Christmas cookies and hot cocoa to be distributed to students. 

This year’s event served both milk-based and soy milk-based hot cocoa. VanGostein said USG made this choice to promote inclusion and sustainability at the event. 

Melanie Sztulman, GSBLC ’23 and USG chair of student affairs, worked to plan this event since the beginning of the semester. She coordinated with Alumni Relations and Facilities, arranging for the dairy-free hot cocoa as well as a variety of fixings including candy canes, caramel and marshmallows.

“I can’t wait to take (the mug) home and have a little piece of Fordham with me.”Emily Fitzgerald, GSBLC ’25

After picking up complimentary mugs and hot cocoa of choice, students gravitated toward the unlit Christmas tree at the center of the plaza. USG members spoke to the growing crowd before commencing the long-awaited countdown to the tree’s lighting. Cheers rang out when the tree was finally lit. The crowd then sang along to performances of popular holiday carols by the University Chamber Choir and the F-Sharps.

Compared to last year, when the majority of students were not on campus, more students were able to participate in this year’s tree lighting. According to VanGostein, many of the students in charge of planning the event had never attended a tree lighting ceremony before due to the pandemic. Regardless, the event went smoothly and served as a celebration of students’ return to campus.

VanGostein said that as a senior, he appreciated seeing the Fordham community, especially the underclassmen, gathered together for the tree lighting. “It was just really great to see through their eyes what Fordham should be and what it was before the pandemic,” he said.

The event drew in a variety of students — seniors, first-years, residents and commuters alike. 

“I really enjoyed it! It is a beautiful tradition, and I’m excited for next year!” Victoria Alvarez-Morphy, Fordham College at Lincoln Center ’24 and a commuter student, said.

VanGostein hopes the event continues to grow in the coming years. It was a time “where everyone comes together to gather around the tree and just be grateful for each other and being able to be back on campus doing the things we love with the people we love,” he said.

After a year away, seniors were able to experience their final tree lighting, and first-years can look forward to next year’s event.

“I can’t wait to take (the mug) home and have a little piece of Fordham with me,” Emily Fitzgerald, GSBLC ’25 said.