Senior Week Traditions Celebrate Culmination of a Journey
by Jennifer Spencer
Senior Week at Lincoln Center
Steeped in tradition, Fordham’s annual Senior Week events provide graduates an opportunity to celebrate four great years and to make the most out of their last few days of college.
Senior Week, which happens the week before graduation at both Lincoln Center and Rose Hill, offers a packed program of events with one aim—giving the Class of 2013 a week to celebrate all they have accomplished.
Beth Coyne, director for the transition year experience, said Senior Week offers an important moment for students to take a deep breath and look back on all they have achieved.
“Students have been working hard for last four years, and as they’re coming to the end of their undergraduate time at Fordham, and it’s just a chance for them to celebrate, and take that sigh of relief, and say, ’I did this. I’m graduating,’” she said.
Senior Week events are tailored to each campus. Lincoln Center students attend a wine tasting, go to a Broadway show, and take a boat cruise around the Manhattan island. Rose Hill students look forward to the traditional kickoff event, a Senior Ball, and the popular Parent Appreciation Dinner Dance on Martyrs’ Lawn.
This year, both campuses will feature special events with Joseph M. McShane, S.J., president of Fordham. “Paint the Night Maroon” at Lincoln Center on Tuesday, May 14, and the “Always a Ram” luncheon at Rose Hill, on Thursday, May 16, are both free and open to all students with advance registration.
Daniel Patterson, associate director for the transition year experience at Lincoln Center, said that while this week marks an important transition from students to alumni, he encourages students to simply celebrate together with their community.
Senior Week at Rose Hill
“I like providing the opportunity for them to come together as a class for one last time,” Patterson said. “The community here is incredibly tight, and this is one last opportunity to enjoy and relish it.”
Senior Week is organized by student leadership committees and staffed, especially at the Rose Hill campus, by a group of underclass volunteers. Rose Hill Senior Week co-chair Rocco Totino, a senior at the Gabelli School of Business, said he’s been involved with every senior week since his freshman year.
“When I was a freshman, my sister was on the Senior Week committee and encouraged me to be a volunteer,” Totino said. “Even though I’ve been attending this event for the last three years, this year it’s mine. It’s kind of crazy how fast the past four years have gone.”
Totino and his Lincoln Center counterpart, Chantal Freeman, a senior at Fordham College at Lincoln Center, both said it was hard to wrap their mind around the fact their college career is nearly over. Freeman said that Senior Week allowed her an opportunity to flex her event planning muscles—skills she has been honing since organizing her high school prom and homecoming in her native Flossmoor, Ill.
“My focus has always been making events experiences for people. I knew that I wanted to make Senior Week special for my classmates and do something different and unique for our class,” Freeman said.
She used Facebook to solicit input from her classmates on what they would like to see at Senior Week and to assess whether they were willing to invest in slightly more expensive events, like an upgraded wine and food pairing at a nearby restaurant.
For Totino, Senior Week offers an opportunity to be a full participant at his all-time favorite event, the Parent Appreciation Dinner Dance. The Bronx native said that while so often students celebrate amongst themselves, he was grateful to have the opportunity to celebrate with his and his classmates’ families.
“It’s nice to have the whole family around, and it’s the day before graduation with so many mixed emotions. People are so happy to be with their family and having this one last night of being at college to take it all in,” he said.
For Coyne, watching students reconnect with the people with whom they have walked their Fordham journey is the most meaningful part of the event.
“People may have been roommates freshman year, but drifted apart,” Coyne said. “It’s a chance to relive memories and rekindle friendships before everyone moves on to their next opportunities, whether it’s work, graduate school, going abroad, or wherever life takes them.”