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SMC welcomes seniors’ dads

| Sunday, November 9, 2014

As juniors, Saint Mary’s students dedicate a weekend to their moms. This past weekend, Saint Mary’s seniors turned their attention to welcoming their dads to campus for father-daughter events as part of Senior Dad’s Weekend.

Senior class president Lauren Osmanski and senior class vice president Tori Wilbraham worked together to plan this year’s Senior Dad’s Weekend.

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Senior Mary Kate McLaughlin said the weekend provided Saint Mary’s seniors with spend quality time with their dads and an opportunity to create lasting memories with fellow Belles.

“It was hilarious to be able to see the girls and their dads interacting,” McLaughlin said. “It was an entirely different dynamic than Junior Mom’s Weekend.”

The events began Friday in Stapleton Lounge in Le Mans Hall with a wine and cheese reception for the Belles, their dads and Saint Mary’s professors.

Senior Sarah Hossfeld said she enjoyed the reception the most because it was the moment when all of the dads were able to meet one another and professors.

“I never thought my dad would get to meet some of my favorite nursing professors except for at graduation,” Hossfeld said. “I was so glad that the first reception was so inviting and fun, and we also got our gift bags there with a Saint Mary’s Senior Dad’s Weekend beer mug and T-shirt.”

The evening continued at O’Rourkes Public House on Eddy Street where Belles and their dads gathered to unwind together in a pub setting, Wilbraham said.

On Saturday, Wilbraham and Osmanski planned Notre Dame Stadium tours beginning at noon. The Belles and their dads toured the locker room, saw the Play Like a Champion Today sign and walked on the field, Wilbraham said.

“I know that was definitely my dad’s favorite part of the weekend,” Hossfeld said. “When he walked out onto the field, he said it was the most beautiful sight his eyes had ever seen. It was awesome to share that moment with him, and I know many of the other girls agreed that that was one of the coolest events of the whole weekend.”

Following the stadium tours, the fathers and daughters were invited to O’Rourke’s to watch Notre Dame play Arizona State, Wilbraham said. Afterwards, a dinner and auction were held at the Hilton Garden Inn Gillespie Center.

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“This was the first time we’ve ever planned a dinner for daughters and their dads, which was a huge success,” Wilbraham said. “We were sorry we had to shut it down when it got late because all of the girls were having so much fun dancing with their dads and enjoying the photo booth. We hope we started a new tradition with the dinner.”

Wilbraham said College President Carol Ann Mooney attended the dinner, along with Vice President for Student Affairs Karen Johnson. The auction, which included prizes such as front-row graduation tickets, Notre Dame football tickets, a spring break basket and Chicago Blackhawks tickets, raised $13,000 that will go toward senior week.

“We also announce our new senior class campaign, called 90 for 90,” Wilbraham said. “We are trying to get 90 percent of students to donate towards the senior class gift fund, representing the 90 million dollars the College has raised for this year’s ‘Faith Always, Action Now’ campaign.

“We already have over 55 percent of the senior class participating, so that was a huge success for us.”

The weekend’s events concluded on Sunday with mass at the Church of Our Lady of Loretto.

McLaughlin said she was glad to see everyone having such a great time with their dads, and it was an unforgettable weekend.

“I loved showing my Dad all around South Bend and taking him to our favorite places to go out as seniors,” McLaughlin said. “We had so much fun together at all of the different events. It was just a perfect weekend.”

The weekend gave students an opportunity to do something they don’t often have a chance to, especially while they’re away at school.

“It’s not too often we get to spend one-on-one time with our dads,” Wilbraham said. “It makes me so happy that it was such a success.”

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About Kelly Konya

Kelly Konya is an English major bred on Catcher in the Rye and Roman cornettos.

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