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Graduating students celebrate Senior Week traditions

Anna Boarini | Wednesday, May 16, 2012


For one class-free week, seniors have the opportunity to stay on campus and celebrate their four years at Notre Dame with their friends. 

Senior class president Anne Huntington said Senior Week is a perfect way for seniors to have fun and spend a great week together. 

“The way we saw Senior Week and what we wanted to do was to get as many members of the Class of 2012 together to celebrate our four years of friendship, fun and studying,” she said. “It is a way for us to try and hit on all the different aspects of our time here together one last time.”

Some Senior Week traditions are carried over from year to year, but this year’s schedule of events has changed slightly, Huntington said.

This year, the kick-off barbeque was moved off campus to the College Football Hall of Fame, she said. 

“We thought a change of venue would be cool and since the College Football Hall of Fame is leaving, and we’re all leaving, we thought we would rent out the space and check it out,” she said. 

On Tuesday night, the Senior Class Council hosted ‘Margaritaville’ at Legends nightclub on campus.

Huntington said previous Class Councils have planned trips to Cedar Point and the Indiana Dunes. However, these trips have not been well-attended due to weather and costs, so they were removed from the Senior Week schedule this year, she said. 

“We were trying to cut costs and thinking about what was best for 2,000 people and not the 350 that could go,” she said. 

Despite these changes, Huntington said most traditions continued, including Monday’s Commencement Ball. Senior Class Council estimated there were more than 1,500 attendees at the ball, Huntington said.

“[The Commencement Ball] is a really fun night where your classmates show up at a dance, all dressed up and have a really good time,” she said. 

Senior Ryan Geraghty attended the Commencement ball and said it exceeded his expectations.

“The ball was surprisingly fun,” he said. “It wasn’t all fancy and too high-strung … I got to see all my friends and people who I haven’t seen since Frosh-O.”

The senior class also traditionally attends a Chicago Cubs game each year, and that tradition continued this year, Huntington said. She said the trip would be expanded upon, offering seniors time to enjoy the city outside of Wrigley Field.

On campus, seniors had the chance to get a behind-the-scenes look at some famed locations they could not access as undergraduates, Huntington said. 

“We offer seniors a chance to see places on campus … like the tunnels, the 14th floor of the library, the stadium press box and locker rooms,” she said. 

Huntington said the final traditional Senior Week event is the seniors’ last visit to the Grotto and Basilica. 

“This is always the Thursday night before Commencement,” she said. “It’s time for the class to come together one last time to pray and reflect before Commencement.”

Huntington said the last Grotto trip can be a very emotional experience for graduating seniors.

“It’s usually the kicker. If you haven’t cried yet, you’re going to cry there,” she said. “I cried last year and I wasn’t even graduating.”