West Virginia University will kick off the holiday season at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, in Woodburn Circle with the 19th annual lighting of historic Woodburn Hall on the Downtown Campus.

The public is invited to join the ceremony, presided over by WVU President David C. Hardesty Jr.

We cordially invite the university and the surrounding communities to join us in marking the beginning of the holiday season,Hardesty said.Its an excellent opportunity to come together to reflect on our many blessings.

As is tradition, a patient from Childrens Hospital will assist Susan Hardesty, WVU s first lady and national chair of the Mountaineer Parents Club, with turning on the switch. This years helper is Dawn Bragg, 14, of Morgantown.

Following the outdoor-lighting ceremony, a reception will be held in the lobby of Elizabeth Moore Hall with cookies and punch. Santa will be on hand to greet the young and those young at heart.

Approximately 7,000 miniature white lights will be used to illuminate the outline of Woodburn Hall WVU s second oldest building. The lights will remain on until mid-January.