Senior Convocation + Reception

Gioia Guarino ’23

Features Section Editor

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock
Class of 2023

Welcoming back to the spring semester and the fleeting days of the academic calendar, the senior class gathered together at Saint Joseph’s Chapel on Jan. 23. Excitement and sadness filled the air, prompted by the collective knowledge that this would be one of the last times we gathered together. 

The night began at 5:30 p.m. with a beautiful snowfall. Snow dusted the hill as seniors ran from their off-campus houses or on-campus apartments to fill the chapel pews. I walked over from my residence hall with a few of my closest friends, avoiding the snow as we packed the church. Buzzing from the excitement of not seeing my peers for four weeks, I was ready to tackle my final semester. 

The service began with beautiful music and a procession of the speakers and heads of schools and departments. I especially enjoyed the trip down memory lane from the numerous senior speakers. From freshman year dorms to moving into covid classrooms to study abroad experiences, the seniors covered every step of our time together. I reminisced on my move-in day, rolled my eyes about the zoom classes we endured for a year, and smiled when hearing about my classmates’ amazing experience abroad. 

From the senior speech to President Rougeau’s reflection on the last four years, the night provided an excellent time for reflection. As a senior, I am excited to embark on my next journey but dreading the moment I have to move off of Mount Saint James. I resonated with parts of the senior speech that mentioned feeling robbed of our authentic college experience and how we are not entitled to the great joys we feel as members of the class of 2023. The reflections were eye-opening and made me realize how lucky I am to have had the experiences that I did despite the curveball of the pandemic.

Following the convocation, seniors were invited to enjoy catered treats and drinks in the Hogan Ballroom. This reception was  my favorite part of the evening due to the endless conversations filling the room and the delicious cupcakes and cookies on each table. I saw friends I typically do not see weekly and reminisced on my favorite freshman-year memories with my roommates. I am grateful for the school’s shared sense of community and appreciation for our intimate class size. It is exceptional to fit a majority of our classmates into small spaces and feel the differing energies in one place.

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