Old Main lights up nights


Kevin Hall

The Livingston C. Lord Administration Building (Old Main) has has decorative lights draped across the sides of the building. Old Main changes lights several times throughout the semester.

Roberto Hodge, Multicultural Editor

The lights that shine on Old Main have been changing colors representing awareness or holidays for the past few years.

This January, the castle lit up for Sexual Assault Counseling Information Services’ event Rock Out Against Rape, Martin Luther King Jr. Day and for the welcoming of Eastern’s presidential candidates.

William Weber, the former vice president for business affairs, said Old Main’s lighting project came about years ago when Eastern’s chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association asked the administration if they could light up the castle in blue for a nationwide autism awareness month.

“At the time, we didn’t have that capability, but we did start investigating options,” Weber said.

Weber said the funds came about in 2012, which allowed the installation of low-energy programmable LED lamps. The lights also aligned with one of Eastern’s goals of strengthening community ties with Charleston as well as creating a more welcoming streetscape on Lincoln Avenue.

“Ever since the official debut of the lighting system in December 2012, we’ve used it to recognize and support various campus and community events,” Weber said.

In the past, Eastern has used the lights for graduation ceremonies as well as the high school colors of Charleston, Mattoon and Oakland.

“We’ve used teal lights for sexual assault awareness, green lights for Earth Day, red lights for Red Cross blood drives, and rainbow lights for Pride events. Of course, we use blue lights frequently, for commencement, home football and basketball games, open houses and other Eastern events,” Weber said.

Vicki Woodard, the coordinator of public information, said the lights would be in use year-round with more lighting opportunities possibly coming up; the hope is to get more feedback from Eastern, Charleston and Coles County communities, as well as ideas and suggestions for future lightings.

Woodard said the next light set would come in February with: red, white and blue for President Lincoln’s birthday on the 12th; red for Valentine’s Day and blue for Eastern’s open house days on Feb.15 and 16.

Old Main also has a set of lights that outline its castle, which had one blow out during this past holiday season. One whole row of lights on the side of the castle went dark, but they were fixed the same night, Woodard said.

Roberto Hodge can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].