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ND class of 2015 celebrates last week on campus

| Friday, May 15, 2015

For Notre Dame seniors, Senior Week celebrates not only the academic achievements of the entire class, but also the lifetime friendships fostered at the University. The class of 2015 will come together for one last time to enjoy each other’s presence, appreciate the University that brought them together and participate in numerous activities that highlight the Notre Dame experience.

Hermona Abera, 2015 Senior Week Committee chair, said Senior Class Council president Martin Walsh asked her to spearhead the planning because of her experience coordinating Junior Parents Weekend 2014.

Senior Week began Sunday with two service projects benefitting the South Bend community, the last class Mass and the Class of 2015 Picnic.

“I think that this [was] a really nice way to end the year,” Abera said. “I wanted to structure this in a nice thematic way. Starting off with Sunday, in a typical Notre Dame fashion, we go to Mass. We go give back, we reflect and we have a fun picnic.”

On Monday, seniors embarked on a day trip to Chicago to see the Chicago Cubs face the New York Mets at Wrigley Field. The class attended their last tailgate at Legends and participated in a night of activities at Strikes and Spares Bowling on Tuesday.

Wednesday was titled as the Day of Lasts, featuring the last dining hall dinner and Grotto trip.

Underground tunnel tours and Hesburgh Library penthouse tours were held throughout Wednesday and Thursday, and the week concluded with the Commencement Ball at Century Center on Thursday night.

“The Commencement Ball is a very unique event,” Abera said. “We never had a time at Notre Dame when the entire class — beside the DomeFest, which doesn’t really count — when the entire class is together in a nice formal environment. It’s almost like a prom. … It’s a nice opportunity for the first and last time we’ll have a formal event as a class. It’s a nice way to end the week.”

According to Abera, tickets for many of the events sold out within hours of becoming available on the online Student Shop. Technical difficulties further complicated the process, and a number of seniors were not able to purchase tickets before they sold out. Abera explained she underestimated the number of people interested in attending the events because last year the turnout was less than expected.

“It’s unfortunate so many of these events are so limited,” she said. “If I had known there was such an interest, I would’ve tried to find different venues and different events.

“I’m so excited that so many people are so interested in this. We’re Notre Dame, so we get very passionate, and we get very excited, and we want to go to all the events.”

Senior Adelle Barte said she was as excited as Abera about the Senior Week events.

“I signed up for everything,” Barte said. “I’m all in. They’re really great deals, and all of my friends signed up for them. I’m pretty easygoing so whatever they were going to do, I was totally cool with doing.

“The Senior Class Council put a lot of effort into putting this together for a reason, and I think it’s worth it at the end of the day.”

Aside from Senior Week events, Barte said she wanted to treasure this last week with her friends.

“My friends and I have been going out to dinner,” she said. “We just lounge around. Last night, we watched a chick-flick before going out. We’ve just been trying to find time to spend together. … It doesn’t really matter what we’re doing. It’s the company that matters.”

Barte said she was able check one last thing off her Notre Dame bucket list by participating in this year’s Fiestang, the annual Filipino dinner and cultural show.

“It goes by fast,” Barte said, reflecting on her senior year. “The mindset in senior year is you want to enjoy every second of it.”

Senior Andrew Hosbein said he planned to attend the Chicago Cubs game, but since he and his friends were in Chicago the day before and would be required to return to campus to board the University sponsored buses, they decided to purchase their own tickets to the game.

Aside from the Cubs game, Hosbein also said he planned on attending the Senior Week events on Wednesday and the Commencement Ball.

“I think the [tunnel tours] are the most unique and let us see a part of campus most of us have never seen,” he said.

Senior Monica McEvoy also tried her best to enjoy this last week with her friends.

“I don’t think you have to make extravagant plans,” McEvoy said.

“I just got back a freshmen year letter that I wrote to myself on the first day of orientation, McEvoy said. “ … One thing I really like was that I wrote, ‘You’re going to make so many great friends that you’ll have for a lifetime.’ And I think that I did; I definitely did. Like I have a great group of friends — different group of friends, too — that I think are just really special, and I will hold onto those friends as I go on from Notre Dame.”

To the seniors, “Class of 2015” carries different meanings.

“It really has become home and a family to me,” Barte said. “No matter when I met anyone, there is some sort of connection I have with them. That’s always going to be there. So I would definitely say it’s a home, it’s family, and it’s a safe space for me. “

“I’m a numbers person, so ‘Class of 2015’ will obviously just be the year I graduated from Notre Dame,” Hosbein said. “ … But I think more importantly I’ll remember the specific people — friends, teachers, etc. — who helped make these four years so special.”

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About Wei Lin

Wei Lin currently serves as an Assistant Managing Editor for The Observer. He served as the Photo Editor on the 2014-2015 Editorial Board. He is a senior Accountancy, Economics, and Chinese triple major living in Knott Hall. He hails from the borough of Queens in New York City.

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