Pitt’s 93rd Annual Lantern Night Ceremony to Be Held Aug. 25

Issue Date: 
August 20, 2013

Pitt’s symbolic “light of learning” will be passed down to more than 400 incoming freshmen and first-year transfer women during the University’s 93rd annual Lantern Night Ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 25 in Heinz Memorial Chapel.

One of the University’s oldest traditions, the Lantern Night Ceremony symbolizes the passing of knowledge from one generation of Pitt women to the next. Each student receives a lantern lit by an alumna, or “flame bearer”—including several mothers and grandmothers of incoming women—to signify the “light of learning.”

Participants will gather at 7 p.m. in the Cathedral of Learning’s Commons Room. With unlit lanterns, the women will proceed on parallel sidewalks to Heinz Chapel for the ceremony.

During the event, Deborah Walker (CGS ’01, GSPIA ’03), student conduct officer in Pitt’s Division of Student Affairs, will deliver the Lantern Night Address. Lantern Night Chair Juliana Shayne (NURS ’73) will provide attendees with a history of Lantern Night and will lead “flame bearers” in lighting lanterns at the conclusion of formal remarks. A reception in the Commons Room will follow the ceremony.

Walker manages the Office of Student Conduct and addresses violations to the University’s Code of Conduct. Prior to assuming this role in 2006, she held the position of assistant director of community standards for Pitt’s Office of Residence Life from 2003 to 2006. Walker also worked within the University of Pittsburgh Police Department from 1984 to 2003, where she served as a police officer, security guard, and Pitt’s community relations officer.

Walker’s contributions to Southwestern Pennsylvania extend beyond the University community. In 2010, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl appointed her to the Pittsburgh Citizen Police Review Board as a law enforcement specialist. Walker also has lent her expertise to the Urban League of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations, and Pitt’s Staff Association Council.

Shayne has served as Pitt’s Lantern Night Chair since 2010. She is a former president of the Pitt School of Nursing’s Alumni Society Executive Board, former Nursing Representative to the Pitt Alumni Association, and a longtime member of the Alumnae Council of the Pitt Alumni Association.

Shayne currently serves as a practice group assistant within the Estates and Trusts division of the law firm Clark Hill Thorp Reed, LLP in Pittsburgh. As a nurse paralegal, she assists elderly clients with a variety of services, including interactions with medical professionals. Shayne also has held positions at the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management within Robert Morris University, NOVA Chemicals, and UPMC Mercy Hospital. 

The Alumnae Council and Pitt’s Division of Student Affairs cosponsor the ceremony; Student Affairs sponsors the reception. For more information on Lantern Night, visit www.alumni.pitt.edu/traditions/lanternnight.php or call 412-624-5589.