Lighting Of The Lawn
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Just the light show:




In the wake of the attacks on September 11th, Lighting of the Lawn (LOTL) began 16 years ago in order to bring the Charlottesville community together. Since then, LOTL has evolved into an annual tradition that aims to unify students, faculty, and the Charlottesville community, encouraging an atmosphere of festivity and warmth. While the past few years have provided a critical time of contemplation and renovation for the University, with the reopening of the doors of the Rotunda, we have the opportunity to learn a different lesson: inclusion. Our vision for inclusion includes several new and transformative projects and partnerships with safety-oriented organizations such as Hoos Got Your Back and ADAPT. 

In 2016, LOTL features performance groups ranging from A Capella to dance, a tremendous poem (below) that reflects the experiences of students from each class, and an elaborate light show (above) as well as receptions welcoming student and community groups to warm up, eat, and socialize.


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16th Annual Lighting of the Lawn Poem

December 1st, 2016

Speakers: Professor Theresa Davis, Dean Tabitha Enoch, Former Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo


It’s December the 1st at old U-V-A

With our beautiful Rotunda standing proudly on display

The lights have been strung on the pavilions with care

In the hopes of creating a great night to share


We come from all over the Charlottesville community

Here to gather on the lawn and proclaim our unity

We’re all bundled up in this very cold weather

But none of that matters, as we’re all here together


Everyone’s dressed up in sweaters, you all look so fab

There’s so much to it still cool to dab?

A big welcome to all, in your gloves and your mitts

Get ready for tonight because it’s gonna be lit.


The 16th Lighting of the Lawn, what a tradition

An opportunity to take a walk down memory lane -- UVA edition

So let’s take our walk and remember the days

That have shaped the past year in spectacular ways


Grounds have changed, rest in peace Clem 2

We want to be social and procrastinate...what do we do?

At least the Rotunda was finally finished

Our streaking ability is no longer diminished!!!


It’s already December, when did winter approach?

We’ve come to the end of the football season with our new head coach!

Basketball is upon us and our season’s looking bright

Soon we’ll be in March Madness showing Michigan State our might


Our number of national championships is certainly no myth

Oh and we also won an Olympic Gold Medal, how about Leah Smith??

We look forward to the spring, for our drive and desire are not done

We’ve won dozens of tournaments while Virginia Tech has won none!


The Corner has changed time and time again

And gone are the days of good old St. Maartens

Word of new restaurants spreads quickly through the streets

Hey, when is Eddy’s going to finally turn into that Sheetz?


Christians Pizza and White Spot, have become our late night staples

As we eat enough food to fill tables and tables

What else has happened over the past year?

Let’s start by taking a look at the youngest ones here:


The Class of 2020 rolled up on Grounds not long ago

Cars with supplies, clothes, and bedding lined up in a row

People instantly sweltered in Old Dorms and CDF

While their New Dorms counterparts wondered if their hotel had a chef


UVA primped just for your arrival

Hence the Rotunda and its 2016 revival

Hold up, one quick question, was J Cole really here?

You waited for him that night for what seemed like 10 years


To those of you who still haven’t done your laundry yet

Way to save three fifty, that price will surely put you in debt

It took some of you a while to discover the mystical Castle

But we all know that music is well worth the hassle


Now you’re adults and prepared to commit

To give it your all and make your time here legit

On to the second years, this poem must pass

For who could forget about UVA’s bicentennial class?


Though you were first years, not long ago

You’re now facing adulthood-- “I’m not ready, oh no!”

To get a meal plan or not, that is the question,

UVA should get a Chipotle-- now THAT is a suggestion!

You’ve moved out of dorms to exciting new places

Down by JPA and the corner, in pursuit of new faces

Grandmarc, and Wertland; Lambeth and Bice

Hey, not living in dorms, it’s actually pretty nice!


You can bring your cars to school, no more relying on the bus

The only issue is finding parking close to grounds--now that’s a big fuss

You’ve mastered taking exams-- your finals should hopefully go well

If there’s one thing you’ll remember, it’s that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell


You’ll declare your majors, and apply to Comm and Batten in the spring

Not much longer now until you can finally order those rings

Wearing a ring is a third year’s right to earn

It is therefore to the Class of 2018 that we must now turn


Third year arrived and many friends disappeared

To the depths of the Comm School, or abroad without fear

Your exams got harder and your essays grew longer

But you persevered, and emerged even stronger


You declared all your majors, and mastered using SIS

“How was orientation two years ago?!” we all reminisce

You’ve picked all your classes, with better times to sign up

“Hey it’s only been an hour… how are my classes already filled up?”


You’re applying to internships, so much pressure- Oh no!

Are you sure I can’t round my 3.5 to a 4.0??”

With rings on your hands, and passion in your hearts

UVA history and traditions - you’re all taking part


You’re no longer underclassmen, your time as second years is at its end

“Do any first years have any swipes? I’m asking for a friend!”

While your third year is busy you must come to a stop

To sit and remember that the Class of 2017 is on top


As your time at UVA grows less and less each day

You have nothing to fear, as your legacy is here to stay

It’s been a full three and a half years since you’ve come to these Grounds

You’re actually fourth years, as hard as that sounds


Breweries and vineyards, Sunset Series and more,

There’s no shortage of things you still have left to explore

As far as accomplishments go, you’ve accumulated a bunch

But none are as rewarding as finding the best place to brunch


Each and every week seeking to try something new,

“Hey where can I get my hands on that list of 117 things to do?”

You’re all tired of hearing, “so what are you doing next year?”

“I’m still not sure” you say while shedding a tear


It took hours and hours to learn how to navigate

Your new favorite website, called UVA Handshake

Applying for graduation was quite a sad ordeal

“We’re seriously going to graduate? Are you actually for real?”


You’ve walked through these Grounds, you’ve seen all the sights

You’ve pushed through seven semesters and given them your might

The Cavalier spirit and mindset will accompany your every endeavour,

In your hearts and in your eyes, you’ll be Wahoos forever.


Our time at UVA has not come without cost

So let us stop and remember the lives of those we have lost (Pause for brief few seconds of silence)

Their spirits shine with us in these lights here tonight

For in times of sorrow and darkness, we must always see the light


A big thank you to all, we’re glad you could attend

Forever on our minds this night will be penned.

Our futures will be bright, no matter which path we choose

Stay warm, happy holidays, but above all-- Go Hoos!