"This is suspected of being one of Josh Stephens horcruxes," Dr. Kenneth Hawley, professor of English, said in chapel Friday as he held aloft an old trophy. In the other hand he held a sword. "And this is the lost sword of Kyodai," he said, to roars of approval from the student audience.
Hawley placed the trophy on the stage, and took a swing. The top of the trophy flew off dramatically, and the crowd of students cheered.
This final joke, referencing the "Harry Potter" theme of the 2017 Writing Carnival, brought the five-day event to a close.
The carnival began with a "Harry Potter" movie marathon on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8 and 9. After the movies, students played glow-in-the-dark Quidditch and participated in a Horcrux Hunt in the mall.
The more traditional annual events began Monday with Hawley speaking in chapel as part of a two-part presentation on the series. Professors in regalia and various costumes, and some with wands, greeted students as they entered the McDonald Moody Auditorium.
The 24-hour reading marathon of the series began during chapel. Dr. Ronna Privett, professor of English and department chair, read first from "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." Faculty, staff, and students all took turns reading. Even President Tim Perrin, per tradition, read during the midnight time slot.
The reading marathon continued through chapel Tuesday, with Josh Stephens, dean of students, taking the last shift. As he finished his time, students were already pouring out of the auditorium and into the mall for the carnival.
"Let the 2017 Writing Carnival begin!" Stephens announced, joining the crowds in a Voldemort costume.
Stephens wasn't the only one to go all out for the carnival. Kecia Jackson, assistant dean of students, dressed as Moaning Myrtle; Rhonda Shooter, executive assistant, portrayed Luna Lovegood; Carole Carroll, professor of English, attended in full character as Rita Skeeter.
The carnival portion included delicious carnival-style food – street tacos, corn on the cob, cotton candy, etc. – catered by LCU Dining Services, as well as individual stations to foster writing creativity and an air of fun. Students wrote haikus, captions, six-word-stories, and notes to friends at various tables. The notes were delivered "by owl" the next day.
The winners of the various writing categories were announced Friday in chapel.
Next year a different series or book will be featured for a few days on campus.