The crisp, clear skies provided the perfect backdrop for fireworks, twinkling lights and even snow as the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) officially kicked off the holiday season at the 30th anniversary of Light the Way. The event held Saturday, Nov. 19 brought a record breaking crowd of over 8,500 guests to the Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium where UIW Interim President Dr. Denise Doyle and her special guest, two-year old Eleanor Tucker, flipped the switch and illuminated the campus in nearly a million vibrant lights. The event was the finale to a fun-filled evening sponsored by H-E-B. The highlight of the evening was a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus who entered the stadium in a horse drawn carriage accompanied by angels from UIW’s Brainpower elementary schools amidst a blanket of snow that enchanted the audience.
Special guests for the evening included Sr. Teresa Maya, CCVI, congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word and Dya Campos, H-E-B., director of government and public affairs. The evening began with the National Anthem performed by UIW alumna, Dionne Bedell. The audience also enjoyed performances by UIW’s Chorale and Wind Ensemble, Incarnate Word High School Madrigals and St. Anthony Catholic School. The St. Anthony Catholic High School Jazz Band entertained the crowd along with headliner Tejano Music Legend and three-time UIW graduate Patsy Torres.
Guests were treated to a complimentary reception hosted by H-E-B and Sodexo. The campus will be open for self-guided tours through January 6, 2017.
The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) has been hosting Light the Way annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, kicking off the holiday season in San Antonio for the past 30 years. The event features entertainment for all ages, including student performers from members of the UIW Brainpower Connection, Incarnate Word High School, St. Anthony Catholic High School and St. Peter Prince of the Apostles School, guest performance from famous Tejano singer Patsy Torres and a visit from our special friend from the North Pole. The evening culminates with the official flip of the switch, illuminating the entire campus with nearly one million twinkling lights.
Light the Way truly is UIW’s gift to the San Antonio community and celebrates history routed in tradition. While former UIW president Dr. Louis Agnese was interviewing for the leadership of the university, the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word drove him through the popular Windcrest area known for its elaborate displays of holiday lights. This sparked an idea for a way to unite the entire community in the spirit of the season, and Light the Way was born.
We hope that you will enjoy this year’s celebration and come back for years to come!