Lighting of the Lawn Poem

17th Annual Lighting of the Lawn Poem

November 30, 2017

Speakers: Craig​ ​Littlepage, Carmentia​ ​Higginbotham, Lou​ ​Bloomfield


‘Twas​ ​the​ ​night​ ​before​ ​Lighting​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Lawn​ ​and​ ​all​ ​around​ ​town

The​ ​whole​ ​community​ ​of​ ​Cville​ ​slept​ ​peacefully,​ ​with​ ​nary​ ​a​ ​frown

For​ ​the​ ​next​ ​day​ ​was​ ​LOTL,​ ​a​ ​day​ ​known​ ​for​ ​great​ ​cheer,

Charlottesville,​ ​friends​ ​and​ ​family,​ ​get​ ​hype​ ​because​ ​it.​ ​is.​ ​HERE!


Welcome,​ ​everyone,​ ​to​ ​this​ ​night​ ​of​ ​incredible​ ​fun

Don’t​ ​worry​ ​Wahoos,​ ​the​ ​show’s​ ​far​ ​from​ ​over,​ ​the​ ​night​ ​has​ ​just​ ​begun.

We’ve​ ​assembled​ ​here​ ​tonight​ ​for​ ​many​ ​different​ ​reasons

Because​ ​nothing​ ​beats​ ​THIS​ ​community​ ​not​ ​even​ ​the​ ​teeth-chattering​ ​chill​ ​of​ ​the​ ​season


We​ ​are​ ​here​ ​to​ ​show​ ​that​ ​there’s​ ​no​ ​home​ ​here​ ​for​ ​hate

Acceptance,​ ​kindness​ ​and​ ​love​ ​will​ ​always​ ​carry​ ​more​ ​weight.

And​ ​tonight​ ​we​ ​all​ ​stand​ ​here,​ ​side​ ​by​ ​side​ ​as​ ​one

We​ ​are​ ​reminded​ ​of​ ​the​ ​power​ ​of​ ​unity,​ ​and​ ​how​ ​together​ ​anything​ ​can​ ​be​ ​done.


So​ ​let’s​ ​stop​ ​for​ ​a​ ​moment​ ​and​ ​take​ ​a​ ​look​ ​back​ ​at​ ​the​ ​time​ ​each​ ​class​ ​has​ ​had

At​ ​the​ ​touching​ ​moments,​ ​the​ ​funny​ ​memories,​ ​and​ ​even​ ​the​ ​annoying​ ​fads,


Let’s​ ​kick​ ​off​ ​with​ ​the​ ​first-years,​ ​who​ ​eagerly​ ​let​ ​their​ ​minds​ ​run

These​ ​brand​ ​new​ ​wahoos​ ​who​ ​love​ ​the​ ​phrase​ ​“UVa​ ​21”

You’re​ ​the​ ​new​ ​biggest​ ​class,​ ​so​ ​many​ ​people​ ​to​ ​meet But​ ​don’t​ ​get​ ​too​ ​close​ ​to​ ​their​ ​hands,​ ​mouth,​ ​and​ ​feet

You​ ​came​ ​just​ ​in​ ​time​ ​to​ ​enjoy​ ​brand​ ​new​ ​Runk

And​ ​as​ ​far​ ​as​ ​you​ ​can​ ​tell,​ ​it’s​ ​a​ ​slam​ ​dunk

Of​ ​course,​ ​there’s​ ​always​ ​Newcomb​ ​and​ ​Observatory​ ​Hill

If​ ​you​ ​can​ ​get​ ​past​ ​the​ ​tablers​ ​and​ ​their​ ​travelling​ ​paper​ ​mill

You​ ​all​ ​threw​ ​your​ ​hands​ ​up​ ​in​ ​frustration​ ​while​ ​dealing​ ​with​ ​SIS

You​ ​might​ ​have​ ​gone​ ​mad,​ ​if​ ​not​ ​for​ ​Lou​ ​and​ ​his​ ​List

But​ ​don’t​ ​worry,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​ok,​ ​at​ ​least​ ​you​ ​saw​ ​football​ ​in​ ​a​ ​bowling​ ​year, Which​ ​brings​ ​us​ ​to​ ​our​ ​next​ ​Class,​ ​2020,​ ​GIVE​ ​A​ ​CHEER!


Speaking​ ​of​ ​second-years,​ ​how’s​ ​learning​ ​to​ ​cook?

Don’t​ ​have​ ​it​ ​down​ ​yet?​ ​No​ ​worries,​ ​give​ ​YouTube​ ​a​ ​look!

Second​ ​year​ ​came​ ​with​ ​it’s​ ​own​ ​set​ ​of​ ​bumps

Make​ ​sure​ ​you’re​ ​vaccinated​ ​–​ ​don’t​ ​risk​ ​getting​ ​the​ ​mumps!


Old​ ​dorms​ ​and​ ​new​ ​dorms,​ ​a​ ​thing​ ​of​ ​the​ ​past

Now​ ​you​ ​have​ ​room​ ​for​ ​the​ ​SWAG​ ​you’ve​ ​amassed

At​ ​GrandMarc,​ ​halls​ ​smell​ ​and​ ​the​ ​door’s​ ​usually​ ​broken

But​ ​at​ ​least​ ​we​ ​only​ ​occasionally​ ​have​ ​a​ ​fire​ ​alarm​ ​to​ ​be​ ​awoken.


The​ ​freedom​ ​to​ ​roam​ ​is​ ​yours​ ​for​ ​the​ ​taking

We​ ​can​ ​find​ ​you​ ​out​ ​dining,​ ​exploring,​ ​or​ ​baking

Thank​ ​goodness​ ​for​ ​cars​ ​and​ ​a​ ​license​ ​for​ ​driving

Who​ ​cares​ ​about​ ​classes?​ ​You​ ​are​ ​TOTALLY​ ​THRIVING.


Now​ ​for​ ​2019,​ ​we​ ​are​ ​glad​ ​you​ ​came​ ​back​ ​for​ ​thirds

Half​ ​our​ ​time​ ​is​ ​gone,​ ​and​ ​we’re​ ​at​ ​a​ ​loss​ ​for​ ​words,

We​ ​attended​ ​Third​ ​Year​ ​Ceremony​ ​our​ ​hands​ ​decked​ ​in​ ​silver​ ​and​ ​gold Only​ ​one​ ​more​ ​year​ ​of​ ​college,​ ​when​ ​did​ ​we​ ​get​ ​so​ ​old?


We’ve​ ​made​ ​the​ ​lawn​ ​our​ ​home,​ ​with​ ​maybe​ ​a​ ​room​ ​next​ ​year?

We’ve​ ​mastered​ ​this​ ​whole​ ​college​ ​thing,​ ​with​ ​only​ ​our​ ​future​ ​left​ ​to​ ​fear

Attending​ ​career​ ​fairs,​ ​practicing​ ​your​ ​elevator​ ​pitch,

With​ ​employers​ ​looking​ ​to​ ​hire,​ ​get​ ​ready​ ​for​ ​that​ ​summer​ ​internship!


We’ve​ ​formed​ ​the​ ​perfect​ ​nap​ ​schedule,​ ​if​ ​only​ ​classes​ ​were​ ​as​ ​easy​ ​to​ ​fit

Our​ ​majors​ ​have​ ​finally​ ​been​ ​decided,​ ​or​ ​maybe​ ​another​ ​quick​ ​switch??

But​ ​2019,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​not​ ​over​ ​yet​ ​and​ ​you​ ​all​ ​are​ ​some​ ​of​ ​the​ ​best​ ​we​ ​have​ ​ever​ ​seen,

So​ ​now​ ​let’s​ ​go​ ​on​ ​to​ ​the​ ​last​ ​but​ ​not​ ​least,​ ​the​ ​Class​ ​of​ ​2018…


Looking​ ​back​ ​on​ ​the​ ​years,​ ​we​ ​have​ ​come​ ​a​ ​long​ ​way,

There​ ​have​ ​been​ ​so​ ​many​ ​things​ ​that​ ​have​ ​gotten​ ​us​ ​to​ ​today.

Some​ ​bad,​ ​some​ ​good,​ ​some​ ​amazing,​ ​some​ ​lame,

Nonetheless​ ​they​ ​are​ ​part​ ​of​ ​our​ ​journey,​ ​so​ ​let​ ​us​ ​venture​ ​down​ ​memory​ ​lane.


Remember​ ​when​ ​we​ ​feared​ ​that​ ​O-Hill​ ​dining​ ​was​ ​not​ ​for​ ​us,

When​ ​that​ ​infamous​ ​plague​ ​of​ ​O-Bola​ ​left​ ​our​ ​stomachs​ ​in​ ​a​ ​fuss.

But​ ​there​ ​were​ ​definitely​ ​some​ ​high​ ​notes​ ​in​ ​our​ ​first​ ​year​ ​as​ ​Hoos,

Like​ ​when​ ​we​ ​stormed​ ​the​ ​field​ ​against​ ​Miami,​ ​in​ ​a​ ​game​ ​everyone​ ​else​ ​thought​ ​we​ ​might​ ​lose.


Now​ ​let’s​ ​fast​ ​forward​ ​to​ ​second​ ​year,​ ​where​ ​our​ ​worries​ ​started​ ​to​ ​grow,

We​ ​were​ ​nervous​ ​about​ ​declaring​ ​majors​ ​and​ ​figuring​ ​out​ ​what​ ​we​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​know.

We​ ​learned​ ​that​ ​living​ ​with​ ​your​ ​best​ ​friends​ ​can​ ​be​ ​a​ ​blessing​ ​and​ ​a​ ​curse,

As​ ​we​ ​looked​ ​back​ ​to​ ​our​ ​first​ ​year​ ​we​ ​wondered,​ ​“Grandmarc​ ​or​ ​dorms…​ ​what’s​ ​worse?


3rd​ ​year​ ​was​ ​a​ ​doozy,​ ​when​ ​life​ ​really​ ​started​ ​to​ ​hit,

But​ ​it​ ​was​ ​also​ ​that​ ​point​ ​in​ ​our​ ​college​ ​careers​ ​where​ ​we​ ​saw​ ​we’d​ ​be​ ​out​ ​of​ ​here​ ​in​ ​a​ ​bit…

So​ ​we​ ​started​ ​making​ ​the​ ​most​ ​of​ ​each​ ​day,​ ​and​ ​taking​ ​notes​ ​that​ ​were​ ​no​ ​longer​ ​trash

We​ ​even​ ​learned​ ​to​ ​schedule​ ​our​ ​weeks​ ​so​ ​we​ ​didn’t​ ​have​ ​to​ ​take​ ​a​ ​Friday​ ​Class.


And​ ​now​ ​here​ ​we​ ​are​ ​in​ ​our​ ​4th​ ​year,​ ​Class​ ​of​ ​2018

It’s​ ​crazy​ ​to​ ​look​ ​back​ ​at​ ​how​ ​far​ ​we’ve​ ​come​ ​from​ ​1st​ ​year​ ​to​ ​now​ ​and​ ​in​ ​between.

We​ ​have​ ​overcome​ ​tragedy,​ ​and​ ​experienced​ ​loss​ ​along​ ​the​ ​way

And​ ​in​ ​some​ ​of​ ​our​ ​University’s​ ​toughest​ ​times,​ ​we​ ​found​ ​ourselves​ ​at​ ​a​ ​loss​ ​of​ ​words​ ​to​ ​say.


But​ ​time​ ​after​ ​time​ ​again,​ ​our​ ​resilience​ ​has​ ​shown​ ​in​ ​unity,

As​ ​we​ ​came​ ​together,​ ​joined​ ​hands,​ ​and​ ​fought​ ​to​ ​heal​ ​and​ ​better​ ​this​ ​community.

Going​ ​forth​ ​into​ ​the​ ​future,​ ​and​ ​looking​ ​to​ ​our​ ​last​ ​semesters​ ​here,

It​ ​is​ ​your​ ​right,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​your​ ​prize,​ ​and​ ​you​ ​have​ ​earned​ ​THIS​ ​chance​ ​to​ ​let​ ​out​ ​a​ ​cheer.


So​ ​to​ ​all​ ​the​ ​4th​ ​years,​ ​take​ ​tonight​ ​to​ ​enjoy​ ​the​ ​conclusion​ ​of​ ​2017,

Because​ ​after​ ​these​ ​finals,​ ​and​ ​after​ ​this​ ​break,​ ​it​ ​is​ ​our​ ​time​ ​to​ ​roll​ ​ahead,​ ​full​ ​steam.

But​ ​no​ ​matter​ ​where​ ​your​ ​journey​ ​leads,​ ​no​ ​matter​ ​how​ ​far​ ​around​ ​the​ ​world​ ​you​ ​may​ ​roam,

UVA​ ​will​ ​be​ ​here​ ​awaiting​ ​your​ ​return,​ ​and​ ​will​ ​always​ ​be​ ​a​ ​place​ ​to​ ​call​ ​home.


So​ ​WAHOOS​ ​of​ ​UVA,​ ​thank​ ​you​ ​all​ ​for​ ​joining​ ​us​ ​here​ ​tonight,

It​ ​is​ ​time​ ​for​ ​the​ ​evening’s​ ​conclusion,​ ​where​ ​in​ ​a​ ​few​ ​moments​ ​there​ ​will​ ​be​ ​LIGHT.

So​ ​let​ ​us​ ​begin​ ​in​ ​the​ ​way​ ​we​ ​always​ ​have,​ ​with​ ​our​ ​way​ ​of​ ​bringing​ ​the​ ​New​ ​Year​ ​in,

And​  ​join​ ​me​ ​as​ ​we​ ​begin​ ​our​ ​countdown​ ​as​ ​we​ ​make​ ​our​ ​way​ ​down​ ​from…