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Light Up Campus

Raised toward our $3,000 Goal
74 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on December 04, at 11:55 AM EST
Project Owners

Light Up Campus

Help Wayne State’s Office of Economic Development (OED) purchase and install holiday lights on Wayne State’s main campus in Midtown! The lights will be installed in early December and shine through the end of January, lighting up campus for Wayne State students, employees, residents, businesses and visitors.


Placemaking is a core component of Wayne State’s effort to create a 24-hour-campus and foster connections within the campus community and with our Midtown neighbors. Installing holiday lights on campus is just one of many approaches to placemaking. Wayne State’s OED leads several collaborative Placemaking Initiatives and coordinates the Wayne State PlaceMakers to make campus more interactive and engaging. Previous projects include the 2015 and 2016 Walk [Wayne State] campaigns designed to encourage people to explore nearby destinations, partnering with the DIA Inside|Out program to place reproductions for the DIA’s collection at sites across campus, placing flexible public seating throughout campus to offer people a place to relax, study and socialize, and piloting streetscape improvements such as painted bike lanes during Walkable Warren.

Light Up Campus

The majority of Wayne State’s Placemaking Initiatives have occurred during in the fall and spring, when campus is naturally more dynamic. In 2016-17, Wayne State’s OED hopes to explore initiatives to make campus more engaging in the winter months when there's less daylight and colder temperatures, and people are less likely to spend time outside. One way in which we hope to do this is with LED holiday lights.

“Darkness as much as cold and snow, can limit people’s enjoyment of the outdoors during winter. Smart cities are responding by artistically stringing lights throughout the city center and neighborhood business districts, creating an overall ambiance of delight and pleasure that makes us want to linger outside even when it is chilly.” – Project for Public Spaces

Installing holiday lighting on campus is a simple idea, one other cities and universities have already implemented to both lift spirits and increase public safety. Potential locations include outside Old Main, in the park by the Bookstore, outside State Hall, along Kirby, and in Gullen Mall. Make a donation of $50 or more and you can help decide where they go!

We propose debuting the lights during the 44th annual Noel Night (Saturday, Dec. 3rd), which regularly draws more than 40,000 visitors to our neighborhood. In addition to lights, OED, Wayne State's James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History and TechTown Detroit, are partnering on a Noel Night holiday marketplace, featuring local businesses and Wayne State-affiliated artists. Wayne State's OED is also working with the Center for Community Based Enterprise to bring a holiday wreath sale to campus. The marketplace and wreath sale are just a few of the activities taking place on Wayne State's campus during Noel Night.

About Us

The Office of Economic Development leads Wayne State University’s efforts to catalyze business activity and promote a vibrant Midtown Detroit. We are a convener and a connector. We work across the university to leverage Wayne State’s assets—our talent, our research and technology, our facilities and services, and our real estate—to stimulate growth and strengthen Midtown and neighborhoods across the city. Check out our website and connect with us on Facebook to learn more.




Choose a giving level



Donate $5 and receive Placemaking updates from Wayne State's OED!


HALOGEN (Effective)

Donate $10 and receive Placemaking updates + recognition on signage associated with the lights!



Donate $25 and receive all of the above + a personalized thank-you card!



Donate $50 and receive all of the above + a say in where the lights are located on campus!


LED (Superior)

Donate $100 and receive all of the above + early admission to Wayne State’s holiday marketplace, featuring 45 local businesses and Wayne State-affiliated artists.



Donate $500 and receive all of the above + lunch with Ned Staebler, Wayne State’s VP for Economic Development and President and CEO of TechTown, at TechTown’s pop-up, The Fueling Station.