President Worthen to hike and light ‘The Y’

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Students insert lightbulbs into sockets around The Y, starting from the inside, then going up and around in a wave. (Angela Decker)
Students insert lightbulbs into sockets around the Y, starting from the inside then going up and around in a wave. (Angela Decker)

President Kevin J Worthen and his wife, Peggy Worthen, will join students in supporting a BYU homecoming tradition, hiking and lighting “the Y” at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 14.

President Worthen based the remarks of his inaugural speech around one concept — Y Mountain. He discussed how the large, white “Y” painted on the side of the mountain stands as a symbol of Brigham Young University and what the institution represents.

“The block Y can remind us of the unique education that we are to provide to our students — one that is broad, deep, spiritual and character building,” President Worthen said.

Hiking The Y has been a tradition among BYU students, faculty and alumni since its completion in 1906. Lighting The Y became a tradition two decades later. Students would haul buckets of kerosene and mattress stuffing up the 13 switchbacks of the Y trail and would light the Y’s outer edges. Electric bulbs now light the Y as the years have passed and technology has advanced.

President Worthen ended his inaugural speech laying out the metaphorical mountain trek all must face. For those who plan on hiking and lighting the Y with the Worthens, those words will become literal.

Students can meet at the Hinckley Center to ride in the shuttle to the base of Y Mountain. Shuttles begin running at 6 p.m., the hike begins at 6:30 p.m. and participants will light the Y at 7:45 p.m.

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