LA MIRADA, CALIF. — On Wednesday, Nov. 29, Biola University students, faculty, and alumni will gather for the university’s annual Christmas tree lighting celebration. The event will take place from 7-8 p.m. on Metzger Lawn in the center of Biola’s campus. The event has gone from hundreds in the 1980s to nearly 4,000 attendees gathering for the holiday event last year.

This year, the Christmas light switch will be turned on by Rick Bee, senior director of advancement. Bee and his wife, Julie, are being honored for starting the tree lighting event at Biola in 1983. He founded the ceremony while serving as the senior director of alumni and parents.

The tree lighting ceremony is free for participants with no registration required. During the ceremony, a worship band will perform Christmas carols under the direction of Jeff Askew, area coordinator for the Commercial Music Program at Biola. Additionally, Biola alumni, faculty, and students will participate in the ceremony. Biola President Barry H. Corey will welcome the audience with a prayer to start the event and Christmas music will conclude the ceremony.

Holiday drinks will be available for purchase, as well as special edition enamel pins for $5 and battery operated candles for $1. Additionally, festive buttons will be complimentary.

Those who can’t attend the ceremony in person can watch a livestream of the event through Biola’s website. Last year, 5,651 viewers watched the livestream of the tree lighting event, reaching an audience of 303,571 people across the nation.

Written by Kili Wall, public relations intern. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, media relations manager, at (562) 777-4061 or