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Senior Week offers graduating class a stress-less farewell to time at Notre Dame

| Monday, May 15, 2023

After a stressful week of final exams, Notre Dame’s annual Senior Week provides the graduating class with the opportunity to reconnect with their classmates and friends before parting their separate ways. 

Sanctioned by the Senior Class Council, the first event of this year’s Senior Week is Sunday’s “Class Mass” in the Basilica, and the week concludes with a visit to the Grotto on Thursday night. Senior Victor Wicks, co-chair of the Senior Week planning committee, a subcommittee of the Senior Class Council, said the week facilitates a proper farewell for graduating students.

“Senior Week is an annual tradition, organized by seniors, for the senior class as a final hurrah that puts a bow on their experience at Notre Dame for the past four, or in some cases, five years,” Wicks said. 

Senior Class Council president Jake Lowry mentioned that because no one else has any prior commitments, the week is a special opportunity for graduating seniors to reconnect with classmates in an experience that students at many other colleges do not get.

“A lot of universities, or most, don’t have a senior week, so I’m really grateful that we do,” Lowry said. “It gives us an extra week to just be here and not worry about school.”

Lowry said the week’s organizers aim to recreate the experience of attending Welcome Weekend as a first-year, but because seniors are over 21 years old, more events can be planned. According to the week’s itinerary, “Domerfest 2.0” will be held Tuesday night at Four Winds Field in South Bend and will feature ballpark food classics, cash bars, inflatables, batting cages, prizes and live music.

“We tried to do a lot of the same events [as Welcome Weekend], but also some of the ones are more elevated just because we’re seniors now and we can [legally] drink alcohol,” Lowry said. 

Senior Week brings the graduating class together following final exams so that seniors can re-engage in the more enjoyable parts of their time as Notre Dame students without any stress, Wicks said.

“The idea of events is to somewhat encapsulate the Notre Dame experience aside from the academic [part] because we’ve already had enough of that for four years,” Wicks said. “We have everything from Class Mass and [the Grotto visit], which addresses the religious component. Then we have more chill events like the night at the zoo. Then we also have full-blown parties like the Commencement Ball, which is like a prom-equivalent for our seniors.”

Lowry said he is most excited about the Commencement Ball, which is a formal event scheduled for Wednesday night at the South Bend Century Center.

“Century Center is huge and we can fit all the seniors there,” Lowry said. “I feel like dances are a big thing here at Notre Dame, so I feel like having that during the week is a really, really special thing.”

Wicks looks forward to using the whole week’s itinerary of events to celebrate the people he’s met as a student and appreciate the place he’s lived for the past four years.

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About Liam Price

Liam Price is a sophomore from Lambertville, New Jersey. He majors in political science and English, currently serving as a New Writer Editor for The Observer. He enjoys playing pick-up basketball at North Dome and listening to "Take a Load Off Your Feet" by the Beach Boys on repeat.

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