The University of St. Thomas is celebrating its annual Christmas tree and crèche-lighting ceremony.

All are welcome to the 16th annual event on Dec. 4, held at the lower quadrangle of the university’s St. Paul campus.

Besides the crèche located atop the university’s Summit Avenue Arches, the school is lighting a large pine near the Arches and the trees leading from the campus’ lower quad to its upper quad, according to a released statement from the school:

"St. Thomas has had an outdoor Nativity scene for more than six decades. Campus clubs erected the first scenes in the 1940s. Later, Dr. Hugo Reny, a Vienna-born psychology professor, fashioned flat, hand-painted plywood figures that were displayed in the quadrangle.

"In 1950, a log-wall stage – some 8 feet high and 5 feet wide – was built for the scene and installed on the Summit Avenue-facing veranda of Aquinas Hall. It later was replaced by the more elaborate and lighted statues that the university’s Physical Plant staff install each December on top of the Arches."