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Ushering in the Holiday Spirit

In Pictures
Thinking of Ukraine
Harmonelle, a smaller ensemble of the Endicott Singers, sang the Ukrainian Carol of the Bells. “The Ukrainians face great hardship this winter,” said Brandi Johnson, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, “and we cannot turn our back on that darkness in the world or the darkness that invades our lives even closer to home—the shootings, the fighting, the discrimination.”
In Pictures
A Sense of Belonging
“Our theme for this year is ‘belonging is our sixth sense’ and honoring someone as a bright light, especially around the holidays, can be an incredibly powerful act,” said event host President Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D.
In Pictures
Celebrating Hanukkah
Brooke Mihlstin '26 lights the menorah candle in celebration of Hanukkah, which begins on December 18.
In Pictures
Celebrating Kwanzaa
Priscilla Miller '24 lights the Kwanzaa candles representing unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
In Pictures
A Bright Light on Campus
Hector Johnson ’24 was honored as a bright light on campus for his contributions to the football team’s success and for his positive spirit and efforts to uplift community members. SURJ President Teebh Al-Freihy (not pictured) was also honored for her efforts during Native American Heritage Month at Endicott.
In Pictures
An Event to Remember
President Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D. honored Special Event Manager Lauren Bek ’21 for her dedication and attention to detail in planning the College’s memorable events, including the Festival of Lights.
In Pictures
Don’t Forget Gary
No event is complete without a cameo from Endicott’s comfort dog, Gary, who serves as a campus bright light every day of the year.
The holiday season has officially arrived at Endicott.

On December 1, the Gull community ushered in the spirit of the season at the annual Festival of Lights, sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging. The beloved tradition was newly hosted inside the Cleary Lecture Hall after last year’s event drew a standing-room-only crowd to the then-Interfaith Chapel (now the Center for Belonging & Inclusion).

Another change was the absence of the Rev. Dr. Gail Cantor, Endicott’s Director of Belonging and Spiritual Life, who was unable to make the event, which was hosted by President Steven R. DiSalvo, Ph.D., and Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer Brandi Johnson.

“I am going to do my best to fill her shoes,” said Johnson, who noted that she had been attending the Festival of Lights for 15 years. “I have watched it evolve from a small candle-lighting ceremony into this beautiful celebration where we are able to share our light and spread love throughout our campus.”

In addition to welcoming members of all religious faiths to light candles honoring Christmas, Hanukkah, and Buddhist traditions, the event also celebrated Endicott’s “bright lights”— “our colleagues, coworkers, friends, and the smiling faces we see every day in the Callahan, EAT Café, the bookstore, and Starbucks,” said DiSalvo.

He also recognized the recent gun violence tragedies at the University of Virginia, the University of Idaho, and Club Q in Colorado Springs.

“The holidays are a time for us all to come together, regardless of our background or our beliefs,” he said. “A time to celebrate the many things that unite us all. Let us not take this holiday season for granted and cherish every moment, including tonight.”

Photos by Mazzie Hinsdale ’26