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Saint Mary’s students celebrate Senior Week traditions

| Friday, May 18, 2018

To celebrate the bittersweet farewell to four years of college, Saint Mary’s seniors had the opportunity to participate in a series of events planned during the College’s Senior Week.

One of the people in charge of planning these events was senior Sarah Connaughton, the president of class council.

Connaughton said planning Senior Week has been a stressful yet enjoyable experience.

“We had a Senior Week Committee that came together to help plan the various aspects and fundraising for the year,” Connaughton said. “We wanted to offer a nice mix of events in hopes that everyone can enjoy various aspects of the SMC community. A lot of people have put effort into making this week and we just want it to be a fun and relaxing week for all seniors to enjoy.”

In the week approaching Commencement, seniors participated in a number of activities including an alumnae brunch, Belle tower tours, handprints in the tunnel and a final walk down the Avenue, Connaughton said.

“Some of the events are more outgoing, but others are more reflective,” she said. “It’s special because it is a great way to appreciate all that SMC has given us during these past four years.”

Connaughton said that she was most excited to add her handprint in the tunnel between Le Mans Hall and the Student Center.

“I remember seeing those handprints from prior classes during my freshman year, so I am excited to make my own mark finally,” she said. “After the handprints, we have ‘Opening the Circle’ which is a tradition that pulls from the ‘Closing the Circle’ ceremony during freshman orientation. The last event of the day is ‘Party on the Island’ which will also be the last event of the week. It’s going to be a blast and it is the perfect way to end Senior Week with our fellow Belles.”

The final walk down the Avenue as a class is typically a very emotional but beautiful moment for seniors, Connaughton said.

Senior Allie Royce said this symbolic event is what she looked forward to most out of Senior Week.

“The Avenue is obviously such a distinct part of Saint Mary’s and to be able to do one final walk with our entire class is a really meaningful tradition,” Royce said. “In a way, it’s the end of an era, so to be able to say goodbye with your best friends is so special. And then to add to the sentimental moment, we read letters from our family and friends. I know it’s going to be emotional, but I think it will be the part of Senior Week that sticks with me the most.”

Royce said that although the week is all about “lasts,” she does not feel ready to say goodbye.

“Saint Mary’s has been home for the past four years and there are so many little things I’ll miss about it, especially all of the people,” she said. “Sure, it’s sad and emotional to have that last walk down the Avenue, but I get more emotional when I’m reminded that my friends won’t be down the hall from me anymore.”

Royce said even though this week feels sentimental and emotional, she was excited to spend it celebrating alongside her fellow graduating Belles.

“I think these events are so special because it’s our time to celebrate our four years,” she said. “Within such a short amount of time, we’ve made so many memories, accomplished so much, overcome challenges and made a new place home. I love that we have an entire week as just seniors for one last go around.”

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