This report has been contributed by Madilyn Harrell, a student from Mercer University’s Center for Collaborative Journalism.

The Christmas Tree Lighting is one of Mercer University's oldest traditions.

It is a time for staff, students and community members to come together to celebrate the lighting of a Christmas tree, hear the Christmas story, and sing.

In 2007, The Cluster -- Mercer's newspaper -- named it one of Mercer's oldest traditions.

Clark Myers is the head of the Heritage Life Committee for Mercers Student Government Association and was responsible for taking lead on this year's Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony.

Each year, the event is held in Willingham Auditorium near the end of the fall semester.

“This is most definitely my favorite Heritage Life event,” said Myers. “This really focuses on the aspect of Mercer that is geared towards community and towards being a Mercerian, and being united.”

There is usually a Christmas tree decorating contest, but this year a wreath decorating contest was also a part of the decor.

The wreaths are being donated to the Ronald McDonald House. The Christmas story was read by Mercer professors Drs. Bokros and Hugdahl, husband and wife, and a holiday devotion was led by Dr. Craig McMahan.

The Mercer Bearitones welcomed the crowd with a song and a candle lighting took place right before Mercerians and people of the community were led in the song “Silent Night."

“It’s a really beautiful moment to have,” said Myers. “It’s a time for us to take everything else and just put it aside.”