CIU Family Celebrates Christmas
By Ireland Kost and Bob Holmes
Columbia International University students mingled with over 550 faculty and staff members of CIU and Ben Lippen School and their families at a huge night time outdoor Christmas celebration of the birth of Christ hosted by CIU President Dr. Mark Smith.
A large Christmas tree placed in The Quad, a central gathering spot on campus, sparkled in CIU colors as people mingled under the star-like lights. The evening included horse-drawn carriage rides that circled the campus and children catching snowflakes under a snow machine, laughing in pure excitement. Hot hors'd oeuvres, steaming hot chocolate and cookies warmed both heart and body.
Horse-drawn sleigh rides and gifts for the children brought smiles to both parents and children alike.
CIU professors and Ben Lippen teachers led the children, as well as adults, in Christmas carols. Dr. Rod Lewis, director of the CIU Music Department, strummed his guitar as sweet voices followed along to classic tunes such as “Oh, Come All Ye Faithful,” “Silent Night,” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Joseph Caldwell, director of the Ben Lippen Theater Department, read the reason for the season out of Luke 2. Ben Lippen is CIU’s Pre-K to 12th grade Christian school.
It was a respite in the midst of a busy time of exams, grading and end-of-the-year staff deadlines.
As CIU President Dr. Mark Smith led the CIU/Ben Lippen family in “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” he reminded everyone, “Christmas is a special time at CIU because we celebrate the birth of Christ.”
Excitement is building on the CIU campus with a dramatic increase in enrollment and on-campus expansion including the $20 million William H. Jones Global Business & IT Center and CIU’s first baseball program to begin in 2019. Information on enrollment is available here or call (800) 777-2227, ext. 5024.