The crisp, clear skies provided the perfect backdrop for fireworks, twinkling lights and even snow as UIW officially kicked off the holiday season at the 30th anniversary of Light the Way. The event held Nov. 19 brought a record breaking crowd of over 8,500 guests to the Gayle and Tom Benson Stadium where UIW Acting President Dr. Denise Doyle and her special guest, two-year old Eleanor Tucker, flipped the switch and illuminated the campus in nearly a million vibrant lights. The event was the finale to a fun-filled evening sponsored by H-E-B.  The highlight of the evening was a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus who entered the stadium in a horse drawn carriage, courtesy of Yellow Rose Carriage Company, accompanied by angels from UIW’s Brainpower elementary schools amidst a sprinkling of snow generated by snow machines.

Special guests for the evening included Sr. Teresa Maya, CCVI, congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, and Dya Campos, H-E-B director of government and public affairs. The evening began with the National Anthem performed by UIW alumna Dionne Bedell. The audience also enjoyed performances by UIW’s Chorale and Wind Ensemble, the UIW Spirit Team, Incarnate Word High School Madrigals and St. Anthony Catholic School. The St. Anthony Catholic High School Jazz Band entertained the crowd along with headliner Tejano music legend and three-time UIW graduate Patsy Torres.  

Guests were treated to a complimentary reception hosted by H-E-B and Sodexo.