Pitt-Johnstown Hosts Light-Up Night Celebration in Moxham

Tammy Barbin

posted December 01, 2015


The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown rang in the holiday season with a special Light-Up Night celebration in Moxham on December 1. The Park Avenue Playground was illuminated with a stunning display of more than 21,000 lights and a lit, Fraser Fir tree. The decorations will remain in place for the holiday season.

Light-up night 2015
Scenes from Moxham Light-Up Night 2015

The Pitt-Johnstown choir, under the direction of Professor Jeffrey L. Webb, was on hand to lead attendees in holiday carolsand the Pitt-Johnstown student chapter of the United Way distribute books to the neighborhood children.

“We are delighted to, again, bring the event to the Moxham community where Pitt-Johnstown established its roots,” said Pitt-Johnstown President Jem Spectar. “Tonight, we stand with our neighbors to light up the spirit of goodwill in the entire community.

Pitt-Johnstown began the Goodwill Light-Up Night tradition in 2007. Pitt-Johnstown is proud to have partnered with the Moxham Renaissance on this project. This collaboration is in its second year and arose from the University’s goal that Pitt-Johnstown will make progress toward sustaining and enhancing programs that have a positive community impact.

“At Pitt-Johnstown, we are very proud of our trademark commitment to service that helps to sustain and transform our communities,” said President Spectar. “Since the beginning of the Fall 2015 term, our faculty, staff, and students have invested more than 1,500 hours working in Moxham helping to restore the Village Street Playground, offering homework help with the Learning Lamp, and volunteering at the Goodwill Career Center. These projects have been performed in partnership with the Moxham Renaissance and the Moxham Neighborhood Watch.”

“We hope to share this light beyond this playground,” said President Spectar. “We have distributed candles tonight. Let these lights symbolize our hope, our generosity of spirit, and the goodwill that exists between our campus and community. May they be a symbol of goodwill in this community today, and tomorrow, as we welcome the New Year.”

Pitt-Johnstown partnered with the Moxham Renaissance in a collaboration that arose from the University’s strategic plan, which put as a principal goal and focus that Pitt-Johnstown will make progress toward sustaining and enhancing programs that have a positive community impact.

Johnstown City Manager Carlos Gunby credited Spectar, Mayor Frank Janakovic and the Moxham Renaissance group for spearheading the idea to bring a light-up night to the Park Avenue neighborhood last year – and said the turnout of about 120 this year made it worthwhile.

This special holiday event is annually part of Pitt-Johnstown @ Your Service.


The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, located in the Laurel Highlands of Western Pennsylvania, was founded in 1927 and is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. Pitt-Johnstown is recognized by the Princeton Review as a “Best in the Northeast” college, by G.I. Jobs as a “Military Friendly School,” and by Pennsylvania Business Central as a "Top 100 Organization.” Additionally, Pitt-Johnstown has been presented with The Seven Seals Award by the US Department of Defense’s office of Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). Pitt-Johnstown is the regional leader, educating for success in the Real World. The distinctive combination of our people, programs, and place results in exceptional performance in preparing students for career and professional success.