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Saint Mary’s students participate in annual Senior Week

| Friday, May 19, 2017

In the week leading up to Commencement, Saint Mary’s seniors participated in various bonding activities, including tours of historical sites on campus, a formal dance and a trip to a Chicago Cubs game.

Senior Maggie Pacana said Senior Week encourages students to embrace their final moments at the College.

“Senior Week is the last chance for us to make memories with our friends on campus before we all part ways,” she said. “All my friends are going to different states, so this is the last time we’re all going to be in this one hub.”

Seniors received letters from the Saint Mary’s community expressing gratitude for their contributions to the College before participating in canoe races and other outdoor activities on Saturday, Pacana said..

Seniors attended a formal dance on Sunday.

“It’s like a prom equivalent, a final last dance,” Pacana said.

Pacana said Monday featured an alumnae brunch in the afternoon, where seniors mingled with Saint Mary’s alumnae and began networking. The Outstanding Senior, Alex Winegar, was honored.

Editor’s Note: Winegar is a former Associate Saint Mary’s Editor of The Observer.

“It’s the initial networking event where we can start to meet alumnae and reach out to them,” Pacana said. “That’s really, really beneficial, because no matter what field you’re going into, there’s always going to be a Saint Mary’s girl who will be willing to help you out.”

Pacana said students had the opportunity to tour Saint Mary’s historic sites.

“Also on Monday are Riedinger house tours and tours of the Madeleva archives in the afternoon, which is nice because you can get a more personal view at different, more historical parts of campus,” she said.

Pacana said she will travel to Chicago to see a Cubs game and eat dinner in Wrigleyville on Tuesday.

“I’m from the Chicago area, so it’s like my home team,” she said. “I’ve actually never been to a Cubs game though, which is weird, considering I live a half an hour from Chicago. We take the bus in together, but then we get some time to ourselves to go get dinner. Since we’re in the Wrigleyville area, my friends and I will scout out different places there to get food.”

There was a senior reflection discussion on Wednesday morning, followed by a special dinner.

“On Wednesday there is a senior reflection event in the morning,” Pacana said. “It’s in Haggar Parlor, so it will … be a nice formal talk about our time here and how to use that moving forward. We have our favorite meal in the dining hall for dinner, and I think we voted for chicken nuggets and mac and cheese, or at least that’s what I’m hoping for.”

Pacana said Senior Week offers something engaging for everyone.

“Our class of 2017 board for student government has been doing an awesome job of reaching out and trying to figure out what our class wants to do and organizing everything really well for us,” she said. “Everything was pretty affordable, and they fit a lot of things in while leaving time for us to still do things on our own, which is nice because it’s still that sort of last weekend, and you do want to do things with your friends. The week is a nice balance of class activities and personal activities.”

Pacana said she feels honored to leave her handprint in the Le Mans Hall tunnel.

“There’s cream colored paint all along the tunnel, but starting closer to Le Mans, there are hand prints from the Class of 2012 onward,” she said. “Students make the hand prints and then write their name and grad year under them. I walk past them all the time, so just having my hand there is fun to think of. It’s interesting to think of younger students that I know here seeing my hand print in Le Mans and remembering me.”

Pacana said the annual Opening of the Circle event takes place Thursday. Students will reflect, pray and join hands with classmates as they prepare to leave the women standing next to them, according to Pacana.

“Freshman year, we have the Closing of the Circle, which is closing us into the Saint Mary’s community, and then senior year we have Opening of the Circle, which is opening us out into the full community,” she said. “I still remember that freshman year experience.”

Pacana said although the week is full of events, the time will pass quickly.

“It’s just going to fly by,” Pacana said. “It sounds like there’s so much to do in the week but that’ll make it go by really quickly. I’m excited for the week, as it’ll be nice to enjoy this time with my friends but also start preparing myself for what’s to come.”

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About Gina Twardosz

Gina Twardosz is a senior English Writing and Communication Studies double major at Saint Mary's College. She's the co-editor of the Investigative Unit, a Saint Mary's social media liaison, and she occasionally writes for SMC News and Scene. Gina is a tried and true Midwesterner and yes, she does say "ope" often.

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