News Releases

Ithaca College Towers Light Up the New Year

For the 47th time in 48 years, Ithaca College’s East and West Towers lit up South Hill during the holiday season, switching from a 12 to a 13 as the clock hit midnight on New Year’s Eve. The tradition dates back to 1965, when the two 14-story residence halls opened on the college’s campus, and was only cancelled once, due to the energy crisis in the early 1970s.

It used to take a number of people to be involved in changing the lights, but thanks to a more streamlined system, this year’s switch in West Tower from a 2 to a 3 only took six staff members from the Office of Facilities Services. The method of counting down throughout the building has changed as well — from an internal fire horn used in the 80s and 90s to staff members armed with radios stationed on every floor in recent years.

Some transitions prove more complex than others, especially a turn in decade, when the numbers in both Towers need to be changed. Will the switch from 2019 to 2020 be a smooth one? Only time, and some 150-watt light bulbs, will tell.