The History of UTL

By, Mikayla C. ’19

Under the Lights (UTL) is one of the Winsor community’s favorite traditions. Spirit Week is a perfect precursor to our homecoming games, as it gets students hyped up for the many games on Friday night. This past week, we saw costumes that ranged from Regina George’s Mom to a biomedical engineer. Examples of past Spirit Week themes are “Things that Start with W day,” “Villian Day,” and “Hawaiian Day.” The afternoon pep rally encourages a little competition when Upper School classes contend for the coveted title of the best cheer. These cheers can get extremely competitive, but Haley Kwoun “enjoys watching all the grades get together and bond over cheer-making.”  Unlike the typical high school homecoming, both alumni and students equally participate in the night’s festivities. But how did this tradition of UTL come to be?

The first UTL was in the fall of 1994, and thus, today is the 25th UTL! According to the Winsor archives, UTL initially started as a celebration of the installation of the lights on the school fields. Up until the installation, Winsor had not been able to host games after dusk. At the first UTL, students enjoyed games and ate some food. One aspect that we don’t have today, however, was a small craft market that was hosted in the gym.

The excitement about UTL today is still similar to the past. PE teacher Mrs. G. first came to UTL as a visiting coach for Thayer. She remembers how “the Thayer teams would always ask [her] ‘if they could have something like the Winsor teams’ …The energy that has always surrounded UTL has been something that [she] will always cherish.”

Today, students celebrate our fall athletic teams and school spirit at UTL. We’ve started a t-shirt design competition, and we now have a dance party after the pep rally. Just last year, we introduced our varsity volleyball team to the fall athletic program. I wonder what new traditions will be added to the UTL celebration in the next 25 years… Will we have cheerleaders? A school band? Who knows?! In the meantime, enjoy the games tonight! Go Winsor!