Holy Cross celebrates class of 2019 with Senior Week, Commencement Weekend
Mary Steurer | Friday, May 17, 2019
Commemorating the class of 2019 as well as all those who helped shape their college careers, Holy Cross will hold its 52nd annual commencement ceremony Saturday in McKenna Arena in the Pfeil Center.
Ashley Adamczyk, a communications major and theology minor, will be delivering the ceremony’s valedictory address.
“It’s just really humbling, and I’m really excited to be able to address my class that I’ve gone through these four years of school with and wrap it up on a good, happy note,” Adamczyk said.
Adamczyk said her address will focus on four words: “You can do anything.”
“This was a simple message that my mom told me on the first day before beginning college,” she said. “I know it’s kind of a cliche statement that you could see on the bottom of a motivational poster or something, but if you just say these words to yourself, it can really change your mindset and put you in the mood or give you the confidence to actually face a challenge head-on.”
Adamczyk said she hopes her address helps graduates of the class of 2019 to remember those who supported them throughout their time at Holy Cross.
“In my example, it’s my mom telling me these words, but in another student’s case there might have been a professor that really impacted their life and really helped them to just try to achieve more and to keep learning or keep trying,” she said.
She said she is especially thankful for Holy Cross’ liberal arts education because it helped her develop a passion for learning across disciplines.
“Even if it’s something you don’t expect to ever use again in your life, there’s something you can learn from every class that you’ve taken and just use it to go forward,” Adamczyk said.
Her time at Holy Cross was also formative for her Catholic faith, she added.
“Being able to focus on my relationship with God was really helpful for me because it gave me the strength or the focus to put into my academics, but also focusing on how I am in other aspects of my life, and so I was gaining an education, but I was also growing in my heart and spirit,” she said.
Senior Karen Eckrich will be delivering the ceremony’s invocation prayer. The prayer, which Eckrich wrote herself, will commemorate her graduating class’ four years at Holy Cross as well as extend thanks to the College’s faculty and staff, Eckrich said.
“My theme is just going to be ‘overwhelming gratitude’ and just thanking God for all of the different people that make up the Holy Cross community,” she said.
Similar to Adamczyk’s address, Eckrich said the prayer aims to help seniors call to mind all those who have made an impact on their undergraduate journeys.
“I hope that … people think of all of the different people who have helped them get through college,” she said.
In the days leading up to the ceremony, the class of 2019 celebrated Senior Week, which commenced May 11 with an outing to an Escape Room at the Studebaker Mansion in South Bend. On Sunday, Holy Cross seniors joined Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s seniors in Chicago for a Cubs game at Wrigley Stadium. Seniors traveled to the Indiana Dunes National Park on Monday, and Tuesday to Bair Lake Camp in Michigan for zip-lining and a ropes course. The class had lunch at Round Barn Winery, Distillery and Brewery in Michigan on Wednesday. Senior Week festivities concluded Thursday with Holy Cross’ annual bonfire and luau at O’Connor Commons.
Jodie Badman, associate director of development for cultivation and special events, said graduating seniors received special notes from friends and family during Senior Week in a Holy Cross tradition called “Letters from Loved Ones.”
“I send out to the families a request for them to send in letters and cards from all their family members, coaches, teachers neighbors, whomever — they send in letters to their students and then the students receive those,” Badman said.
Holy Cross’ 2019 Commencement Weekend begins Friday with the annual Baccalaureate Mass at Saint Joseph Chapel at 4:30 p.m., followed by a graduation social and dinner in a tent on the O’Connor Commons at 6:30 p.m. On Saturday, a graduation brunch will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the O’Connor Commons tent. The commencement ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. at McKenna Arena in the Pfeil Center.