maroon bokeh background "Festival of Lights and Luminaries: An Elon Tradition", lit luminary bag with "Celebrating Elon Donors - Your Student - November 2023" on the bag.Elon Luminaries are back! On Nov. 28, the Festival of Lights and Luminaries will once again light up Elon’s campus. Regularly identified as students’ favorite tradition, the entire Elon community will gather during this special evening to take in the beauty of Elon as more than 50,000 lights and luminaries shine brightly across the heart of campus. Participants will have the opportunity to stroll through this historic campus to enjoy shared community, live music, hot chocolate and fun!

For the ninth year, Elon will honor generous donors within the Elon community by placing their names on the luminarias that light up our campus. More than a beautiful display of holiday warmth, it symbolizes the thousands of donors who choose to pay it forward and light the way for future generations.

Please note this giving opportunity is closed for the 2023 Festival of Lights and Luminaries. We look forward to connecting with you again in 2024!

What is the Festival of Lights & Luminaries?

Regularly identified as students’ favorite tradition, in late November the Elon community gathers together in celebration of the winter season. Stroll through this historic campus with thousands of luminaries illuminating the pathways and learn more about the shared imagery of light found in our religious, spiritual, ethical, and cultural traditions. Hundreds of students, staff and faculty volunteers help set up this glorious evening and all are welcome to enjoy community, live music, hot chocolate, and fun! The Festival of Lights and Luminaries is put on by the Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and its campus partners.

When is the Festival of Lights & Luminaries?

The date for the 2023 Festival of Lights and Luminaries is November 28, 2023, and the rain date is Wednesday, November 29.

Who is eligible to make a gift? And how can I participate?

Every year, Elon honors our generous donors of the Elon community through this honored tradition. Each luminaria carries the name of a donor, exemplifying the light that they bring to our students. All are welcome to participate by making a donation.

If you are a parent or loved one of a current student, please click here and you will have the opportunity to write a message to your student when you make your gift. If you wish to additionally join the Elon Society with your gift, please click here.

If you are a current student, please click here or give $5+ on Venmo @ElonGiving (include your full name, class year, chosen designation). Seniors who make their gift will have a luminaria with their name placed at the Senior Circle by Fonville Foundation and Alamance building.

If you are an alumnus or friend of Elon, please click here.

What is the giving deadline? Can I give after the deadline?

The deadline for giving is 5 p.m. on November 6. For planning purposes and to ensure a positive and fun experience for students, gifts cannot be accepted after this date. Thank you for understanding!

Where will my or my student’s luminary be?

Thousands of luminaries will line the brick pathways of Elon’s historic neighborhood. We will have staff and volunteers on site to help students navigate the luminaries to find their very own. There will be ample opportunity for them to take photos and more.

Luminaries made in honor of another person (including your senior student) will be located by West building, seniors that make their own gift will be located by Fonville Fountain in front of Alamance building, and faculty/staff luminaries will be located in front of Alamance building as well.

Can I give on behalf of my senior and have their luminary placed in the Senior Circle?

Elon is happy to provide options for family members who want to recognize their graduating seniors! However, the opportunity to have a luminaria placed at the Senior Circle is meant to highlight the commitment of seniors who receive an excellent education at Elon and choose to pay that forward by making their own gift. For this reason, seniors themselves must make a personal gift in order to have their luminaria placed at the Senior Circle. Gifts made on behalf of seniors cannot be applied to the Senior Circle location. Thank you for understanding!

How long has Elon hosted the Festival of Lights & Luminaries?

The Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life has organized the Festival of Lights and Luminaries for more than 30 years. The program has changed over time to reflect Elon’s increasingly diverse community to intentionally offer educational opportunities, and to bring delight, fun and the joy to our community.

I have a question that is not listed, who can I contact?

Please contact Annual Giving or Parent Engagement via email, or

If I want to honor multiple students, what should I do?

The more the merrier! Using the giving forms above, please make one gift per student. You can enter the student’s name and your message each time you complete the form.