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My last will

| Friday, May 13, 2016

As my time at Notre Dame comes to a close, I feel it incumbent to give to you, my friends, family and mentors, my last will and testament.

I, Lesley Stevenson, of over-zealous mind and undying school spirit, leave the following:

To my fellow 2016 graduates: nothing but my eternal love and support. Most of you are leaving this city, so I cannot leave you anything else but this and well-wishes for your undoubtedly prosperous future.

To Jim Collins: York mints, “Moulin Rouge!”, money for future students to do research at theme parks and a 110-page thesis representing the best of what you taught me.

To FTT professors and staff (particularly Stacey Stewart, Jo Ann Norris, Mary Kearney, Carys Kresny, additional thesis advisors): 17 thesis writers next year, my blog that crashed, all the social media and the pictures I shouldn’t have from the “Tonight Show,” my “Pride and Prejudice” costume, in addition to eternal love and gratitude.

To Carys and Anton: my fears. You taught me how to (try to) be an actor and helped me break out of a shell I had built, so I leave these fears behind.

To Glynn: more K-cups. I’m sorry for the ones I stole.

Also, the senior trip to Chicago, travel coffee mugs, breads, bagels and pastries and future grant writers who want to go to theme parks. And especially to Paul Weithman, the never-ending draft of my thesis.

To AMST: someone else to argue that Harry Potter is an American subject, every pop culture class offered, several new freshmen and many, many tweets.

To Emily Okwara and Roísín Goebelbecker: American Studies and a PEMCo legacy to uphold.

To Jason Ruiz: more space in your schedule where I’d normally hog your office hours, the unicorn emoji, small Southern towns and (hopefully) much more PEMCo.

To my PEMCats: I give you my best.

To the PEMCommunity: movie nights, popcorn, “Hamilton,” groupies, posters, photo shoots and a presence on campus and social media that has grown immensely in scope and influence. I leave you not just a club — a community. I am so proud of all of you.

To Amanda Bartolini, Tommy Favorite, Ryan Jones and Brynn Alexander: the strength to carry the PEMCo brand well into the future.

To Morgan Rice: all the “likes” and followers in the world, plus the infinite power of planning and executing marketing campaigns.

To Sam Squeri and Kelsey Dool: coffee, and lots of it.

To Liz Anthony: brunch at Uptown Kitchen, sunny South Bend days, the farmer’s market and the fishbowl.

To Maria Anthony: Ben Schrimpf.

To Brian Davis: happy days in South Bend, plus Jacob and Liz’s siblings.

To Connor Quigley: a pair of pants (not shorts).

To Margaret Hynds: much coffee. Very nap. Many luck. Wow.

To Delta News: the matriarchy, the unfixable page 2, no breaking stories. Ever.

To The Observer staff: more animal crackers, and the assurance that your work matters, even when it’s thankless.

To Rosie Biehl: my single in BP. Treat it well. It is a treasure.

To Breen-Phillips: a dome dance. You’re welcome.

To Sr. Mary McNamara: the first floor, Welcome Weekend and many more years of excellence in the best place on campus.

To ND Admissions: very well-trained tour guides who don’t show up as late as I always did.

To Team Reilly (counselors and staff): #NDReilly #ND #food, more boys on the committee, Yesterday’s, Goose Chase, “Rudy” and all the students we recruited.

To Tom Bear and Mark Seamon: students who are less sassy than I am but love you just as much.

To Don Bishop, Bob Mundy and LeShane Saddler: all my Memphians on campus and all the happy Easters.

To Val: my thanks.

To Bald and Beautiful: my brother’s hair.

To Paul Manrique: my brother.

To Jack, Joe, Christianos and Chris Flynn: my brother.

To Fr. Doyle of Dillon Hall: my brother.

To University President Fr. John Jenkins: my brother.

To my brother, Paul Stevenson: so much love and the best wishes for your last two (or three) years here. You have already made an impact on this campus and I can’t wait to see what you achieve in the next two years. I thought coming to Notre Dame was the greatest privilege of my life, but in fact coming here with you has been the greatest. Make good choices, bring honor to the family and live in every second you have at this place.

To my parents: see above. You made all this happen. You deserve this diploma as much as I do. You believed in me even when I couldn’t believe in myself, and you have supported me in every way. All I can say is thank you.

Lesley Stevenson is proud to graduate with majors in film, television and theatre and American studies, but her crowning glory of these four years was contributing to every section of The Observer — including Photo and Graphics. She has bought a one-way ticket to New York to begin a career in theatrical producing, and you can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter at @lcstevenson.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Lesley Stevenson

Lesley Stevenson is a senior news writer for The Observer after previously serving as News Editor and an Assistant Managing Editor. She is a senior from Memphis, Tennessee, studying Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) and American Studies and living in Breen-Phillips Hall. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @lcstevenson, and visit her website at lcstevenson.wordpress.com

Contact Lesley