Sunday, November 21, 2010

This coming Friday, November 26, won’t be a “black Friday” for all. That’s because the Bugg Lights display will start its third year at Menaul School. The lighting ceremony starts at 5 p.m. The lights will be on until 9 p.m. The lights will be on again at sundown the 27th, on Friday and Saturday the next two weekends and then every night from the 16th through the 24th.
There are about 200,000 of the lights, as I remember, in a variety of displays. The display was create by Norman and Joyce Bugg in their northeast Albuquerque front yard. After outgrowing the Bugg’s yard, the display migrated to the now-defunct outlet center between Albuquerque and Santa Fe and then to Menaul School.

For more information about the light display and the school, see
Menaul School is one of those Albuquerque institutions that is easy to overlook. Located at 301 Menaul Blvd NE since its founding in 1891, the school is small. The buildings are set back from the street, which was named after the school, and far from the flash and dash of the recycled UNM Pit Arena.
The Presbyterian Church ran Menaul until 1972. Now there is what school president Lindsey Gilbert calls “a covenant relationship” with the church. Not that Menaul shies from its origin. Indeed, Menaul embraces its faith base. “You should discuss issues of faith” in a non-dogmatic way. Gilbert was leading the campus tour after hosting a number of community members at the schools monthly outreach breakfast. There is daily chapel, but run by the students.
The faith-based mission is “vital to helping our kids have a sense of identity,” Gilbert says.
The student body is 75% non-Anglo with 60% receiving financial aid. Half the students are the first one in the family to attend college and 70% finish college.
All in all, worth a look.
(Bugg Light photo, courtesy Menaul School.)

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