lighted panther crawling on building

A cool cat, ‘snow’ and bright lights make for one jolly evening


holiday event on campus

The newest cool cat on campus glows amidst the traditional Winterfest soap bubble “snow” that fell on Attallah Piazza Thursday evening. Dee the Panther is a holiday light sculpture that will shine from Beckman Hall’s Alumni Tower throughout the holiday season.

She’s sleek like a cat, strong as a panther and shines in the night like 5,000 lights.

That’s because the “she” of which we speak is a panther, literally covered in 5,000 LED lights and affixed to the Alumni Tower of Beckman Hall. “Dee the Panther” is the latest addition to the feline statues that adorn campus in homage to the Chapman University panther mascot.

Named for Dee Henley, wife of Trustee Doy Henley, chairman of the board of Chapman University, the light sculpture panther was created by artist Bryan Tjomsland. It debuted to a reaction of oohs and ahhs Thursday evening, Dec. 4, before the crowd of 1,500 that poured into Attallah Piazza for the annual Winterfest and Doy’s Holiday Tree Lighting.

The sculpture’s lighting capped off a festive evening that included musical performances by Chapman students, a dramatic reading of
The Night Before Christmas by Michael Nehring, professor of theatre, train rides for children, fireworks, Santa’s arrival by elf-drawn sleigh, the official lighting of Doy’s Holiday Tree and a blast of soap bubble “snow” that drifted down on the delighted crowd.

Dee the Panther along with all the holiday lights adorning Attallah Piazza will remain on display throughout the holidays.

More Winterfest photos can be found at the Office of Admission Facebook page.

Dawn Bonker


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