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UC hosts annual Hanging of the Green


Williamsburg, Ky. – The annual Hanging of the Green ceremony at University of the Cumberlands (UC) took place in the Gatliff Chapel and with a reception following at President Jim Taylor’s home on December 3rd.

“The Hanging of the Green is one of the favorite traditions here at University of the Cumberlands,” said Dr. Jeff Smoak, head of the Music Department at UC. “This service ushers in the Christmas season to our campus. In putting the service together, we try to involve many of our students and faculty in order to showcase their talents to the community and to provide a worship experience that helps to bring the UC family together with the community as we begin the Christmas season.”

The worship service began with Scripture reading by Abby Schwarz, daughter of UC professor Jeff Schwartz. The Bible verse introduced the song, “What Child Is This?” This song was sung by high school students Mallory Allen, Hannah Stephens, Kaitlyn Taylor, and Katherine Whitaker. They were accompanied by UC student Chris Lowrie on the guitar.

The chapel was then decorated with greenery and poinsettias to commemorate the upcoming holiday season. The Christmas story found in Luke chapter two was read by Albert Jones, UC professor and youth minister at Main Street Baptist Church of Williamsburg.

The worship continued with the congregation in attendance singing many favorite Christmas hymnals. The Chamber Choir and the Cumberland Singers were led by Dr. Smoak in performing a variety of Christmas tunes. The Chorale also sang a variety of songs which was led by Dr. David Etter. Mrs. Kay Dawn McFarland and Dr. Melissa Gibson accompanied the choirs on the organ and piano. The evening’s program concluded with everyone joining in to sing a crowd favorite, “Silent Night.”

Dr. and Mrs. Taylor invited everyone over to their house for the reception following the Hanging of the Green.

Upon entering the home, the threshold was decorated with real apples and pineapples. The fruit represents hospitality and good health. The Taylor’s welcomed their guests as they entered the elaborately decorated home. They provided treats and apple cider for their many visitors.

“I enjoy decorating in unique and creative ways,” said Mrs. Taylor. “This year I spent three and half weeks preparing for the holiday.”

The decorations included around 25 different themed Christmas trees spread throughout the entire house. These included a cowboy themed tree dedicated to the Taylor’s late son, an upside down aquarium themed tree in the bathtub, and trees decorated in: family pictures, UC marching band memorabilia, old English, and diva and glamour ornaments. The inside and outside of the house was lit with candles and Christmas lights.

“I always enjoy the Hanging of the Green. The singing and the choirs were wonderful. We had great community support this year,” said Dr. Taylor. “It was great to get the Christmas lights on and bring a cheerful attitude to all.”

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees more than 40 major fields of study; ten pre-professional programs; ten graduate degrees distributed over eight areas, including two doctorates and seven master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs. For more information, visit

Article Provided by Rhyana Barker and Lydia Huggins, Multimedia and Athletic Services Department Student Assistants