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SHU Keeps Twinkly Tradition Alive At Former GE Headquarters In Fairfield

Sacred Heart University continues a tradition of lighting a holiday tree on the former GE headquarters site.
Sacred Heart University continues a tradition of lighting a holiday tree on the former GE headquarters site. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
The SHU Choir sings a selection of Christmas carols and tunes.
The SHU Choir sings a selection of Christmas carols and tunes. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Santa poses for photos with fans at the Sacred Heart University tree lighting on the new West Campus.
Santa poses for photos with fans at the Sacred Heart University tree lighting on the new West Campus. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Sacred Heart University continues a tradition of lighting a holiday tree on the former GE headquarters site.
Sacred Heart University continues a tradition of lighting a holiday tree on the former GE headquarters site. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Members of the Sacred Heart University choir sings Christmas carols next to the tree on the West Campus.
Members of the Sacred Heart University choir sings Christmas carols next to the tree on the West Campus. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Santa poses for photos with fans.
Santa poses for photos with fans. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Big Red, the SHU mascot, waves hello to tiny friends.
Big Red, the SHU mascot, waves hello to tiny friends. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Hundreds gathered at the former General Electric headquarters on Easton Turnpike on Wednesday evening for the start of what is likely to be a new annual tradition — the lighting of the holiday tree at the Sacred Heart University West Campus.

With Sacred Heart not set to take possession of the property until Dec. 16, neighbors had wondered whether they would see the familiar tree that GE always decorated near the entrance of the corporate campus.

“One of the first things we heard when news broke of the purchase — especially on social media — was that folks hoped we would continue the tradition of the tree,” said SHU President John J. Petillo.

The president welcomed the crowd, who sang along with the Sacred Heart University Choir and posed for photos with Santa and the SHU mascot, Big Red the Pioneer. Many clutched cups of steaming hot cocoa on the chilly evening.

A group of youngsters moved to the front of the group to officially flip the switch on the tree, which lit up in SHU-themed red and white lights.

“We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a peaceful season ahead,” said Santa Claus.

The brief ceremony concluded with the choir singing carols into the evening.

The lit tree is visible throughout the area and even to motorists on the nearby Merritt Parkway.

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