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.