Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University

Carol of Lights:

An Inventory of Its Records, 1965-2017 and undated, at the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library

Descriptive Summary

Creator Texas Tech University
Title: Carol of Lights Records,
Dates: 1965-2017 and undated
Abstract: The Carol of Lights Records contain programs, printed material, memorabilia, and newspaper clippings.
Collection # U 403.1
Quantity: 2 Boxes (2.0 linear feet)
Language English
Repository: Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University

Biographical Sketch

The annual Carol of Lights lighting ceremony is held in early December in the area between the Science Quad, Memorial Circle and the Broadway entrance. The buildings encompassed in this area are lit up with thousands of Christmas lights and over 20,000 people are estimated to attend the lighting ceremony each year. An enormous Christmas tree is also erected in the area between the University’s Seal and the Will Rogers Statue. The university’s combined choirs perform classic holiday songs and members of the Saddle Tramps organization carry lighted torches to lead the way. It’s a much beloved tradition that began in 1959 and continues on through the cooperation of the Residence Hall Association, the College of Music, the Operations Division, and various student organizations.

According to RHA's website, Dr. Gene Hemmle, co-founder of the Carol of Lights in the 1950's, met with a small group of students in the residence halls. They gathered at Memorial Circle to sing Christmas carols and drink hot chocolate. The first Carol of Lights was organized in 1959, with 5,000 lights. In 1961, the event was officially named the Carol of Lights and had grown to 16,000 lights. The ceremony has continued every year except in 1972, when Texas Tech canceled the event because of the university's energy conservation policy.

Scope and Content

The collection includes programs, invitations, newspaper articles, and press releases concerning the annual Carol of Lights ceremony at Texas Tech. Also included is a file on the history of the annual official Texas Tech ornament collection, which began in 1997.


The materials are arranged into alphabetical order by subject.


Access Restrictions

Open for research

Index Terms

The subject headings used by the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library are derived from the Library of Congress and/or locally developed.
Subjects (Organizations)
Alpha Phi Omega.
Chi Rho.
Texas Tech University. Residence Hall Association.
Women's Service Organization.
Holidays and celebrations.

Related Material

For related materials located in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, see the following collections:

  • Residence Halls Association Records, 1965-1997

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Carol of Lights Records, 1965-2017 and undated, Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas


Collection accession #(s):
2014-0152-B, 2015-0010-B, 2015-0216-B, 2016-0195-B, 2018-0002-B

Gifts, 2014-2018

Processed by

Sarah Muncy, 2015

Collection Inventory


box folder
1 1 11th Carol of Lights, 1969
2 12th Carol of Lights, 1970
3 13th Carol of Lights, 1971
4 14th Carol of Lights, 1972
5 15th Carol of Lights, 1973
6 16th Carol of Lights, 1974
7 17th Carol of Lights, 1975
8 18th Carol of Lights, 1976
9 19th Carol of Lights, 1977
10 20th Carol of Lights, 1978
11 21st Carol of Lights, 1979
12 22nd Carol of Lights, 1980
13 23rd Carol of Lights, 1981
14 24th Carol of Lights, 1982
15 25th Carol of Lights, 1983
16 26th Carol of Lights, 1984
17 27th Carol of Lights, 1985
18 28th Carol of Lights, 1986
19 29th Carol of Lights, 1987
20 30th Carol of Lightss, 1988
21 31st Carol of Lights, 1989
22 32nd Carol of Lights, 1990
23 33rd Carol of Lights, 1991
24 34th Carol of Lights, 1992
25 35th Carol of Lights, 1993
26 36th Carol of Lights, 1994
27 37th Carol of Lights, 1995
28 38th Carol of Lights, 1996
29 39th Carol of Lights, 1997
30 40th Carol of Lights, 1998
31 41st Carol of Lights, 1999
32 42nd Carol of Lights, 2000
33 44th Carol of Lights, 2002
34 46th Carol of Lights, 2004
35 47th Carol of Lights, 2005
36 48th Carol of Lights, 2006
37 49th Carol of Lights, 2007
38 50th Carol of Lights, 2008
39 51st Carol of Lights, 2009
40 52nd Carol of Lights, 2010
41 53rd Carol of Lights, 2011
42 54th Carol of Lights, 2012
43 56th Carol of Lights, 2013
44 56th Carol of Lights, 2014
45 57th Carol of Lights, 2015
46 Scrapbook - 7th Carol of Lights 1965 (photocopies), 1965
47 58th Carol of Lights, 2016
48 Texas Tech Official Ornaments, 2001-2016
49 59th Carol of Lights, 2017


2 Scrapbook - 7th Carol of Lights (Conservation note: The rubber cement used in the scrapbook has heavily yellowed the news clippings and many of the photographs have become loose from their pages), 1965