BYU joined three local high schools in lighting up Provo the evening of Monday, May 4, to recognize the day Utahns had originally planned on reinstating in-person learning.
Though Utah lawmakers have since ordered school closures to last for the remainder of the school year, BYU, Timpview High School, Provo High School and Independence High School administrators still wanted to honor their students.
“The hardest thing about being separated from the students is not having the social interactions to help motivate and support our students,” Provo High Principal Boyd McAffee said. “We hope to create an experience wherein students and families in our community can feel a sense of unity.”
BYU, Timpview and Provo lit up their football stadiums, while Independence lit up its parking lot. Long lines of cars stretched around the high school campuses, their drivers splitting the night with honks and cheers.
Participants were asked to stay in their cars. Students convened in parking lots and caught up with each other out of car sun-roofs and truck beds. The high schools blared their fight songs over loudspeakers.
“The effort we give toward managing our challenges in a positive way helps us build character and strength and gives us experience to help us progress toward being the best version of ourselves we can be,” McAffee said. “Our students, our senior class especially, have sacrificed and worked hard. I am proud of them.”
The night’s event reflects a nation-wide trend of schools putting on parades and drive-up events for students, especially graduating seniors.
Students participate in Timpview High School’s “Light the Night” event. (Preston Crawley)