It’s not Rockefeller Center, but the New Haven Green is having its own tree-lighting ceremony today at 5:30 p.m. The ceremony, hosted by Ronald McDonald and two local television personalities, will feature three local choirs and — wait for it — Santa.

At the end of his last Cold War lecture of the semester Wednesday, history professor John Gaddis wondered why the Pundits, who frequently pranked the class last year, were conspicuously absent this term. “I’ve missed you guys,” he said. “What happened?”

A “modern Sodom and Gomorrah.” Beinecke Plaza has been the involuntary host to 25-year-old evangelist Jesse Morrell, head of the Christian ministry Open Air Outreach, who spent Tuesday and Wednesday sermonizing to pedestrians about the “evils of sin.” The Yale Police stood by, monitoring Morrell for much of Wednesday. The New Haven Police Department has threatened Morrell with arrest several times for violating noise ordinances.

The ghost of Christmas past? A woman recently walked into the Provost’s Office on Hillhouse Avenue and told Provost Peter Salovey she sensed “a spirit” in the building. “I was just trying to get her out of there,” Salovey recalled.

Fighting cancer with facial hair. The varsity men’s lacrosse team raised $4,000 for prostate cancer research in a mustache-growing drive last month. Even without the participation of the provost, the Bulldogs were third in raising money among participating men’s lacrosse teams, according to

If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go for caffeine when working on your senior essays, Blue State Coffee is staying open until 3 a.m. Thursday, according to co-owner Andrew Ruben ’11.

Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele hopes to drop lieutenant from his title. Fedele announced Wednesday that he hopes to succeed Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who is not seeking reelection in 2010. Fedele is the first Republican to enter the race formally.

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will visit New Haven on Friday to meet with some of the key players in the city’s education reform process, Board of Education President Carlos Torre said.

This day in Yale history

1934 The founding members of the Yale Political Union held an inaugural dinner in Jonathan Edwards College. A professor in attendance called the YPU “a contribution of the highest significance to the life of this University.”