Tower power

December 3, 2021


When asked what he does on campus, McKinley Wood’s answer is almost everything.

“Electrical, mechanical, plumbing, food service, steam plant, steam production, utility management, renovations, construction, new construction…”

And the list goes on. One of the more notable elements of his role as associate director for engineering services is raising the wreaths on Boatwright Tower every year in early December.

“I think for the entire neighborhood, it's the beginning of collective celebration of the holidays,” he said. “It brings us together.”

The first year of the wreath raising was 1988. Each wreath is 14 feet wide, weighs 100 pounds, and contains 1,400 lights. A crew of at least 20 people from different departments — carpenters, electricians, mechanics, landscapers, managers, and engineers — all come together to raise them onto the library tower.

2021 marks the 33rd year of the wreath’s appearance. Happy holidays, Spiders!