Senior Celebration marks ‘beginning of everything becoming real’ for Class of 2016

Posted by Centre News in News 04 Sep 2015

senior celebration 2015To mark the beginning of the end of their Centre College experience, all 351 members of the Class of 2016 recently gathered for the annual Senior Celebration. This evening event brings the entire class together for what might be the final time prior to Commencement.

The tradition of Senior Celebration began several years ago and is intended to both excite and prepare senior students for their final year on campus.

“It’s a great time for those of us on staff to be with our seniors,” Associate Director of Development for Donor Relations and Parent Programs Mona Wyatt said, “and it’s sad every year to realize who’s in the group and think about how fast the time has flown.”

This year’s seniors were greeted at Chowan by an array a black and gold decorations and treated to a BBQ-style meal, similar to the one they enjoyed in President John Roush’s backyard during the President’s Picnic their first year at Centre.

Throughout the evening, students received door prizes from the College’s online Alumni Shop and heard from two Centre graduates about their lives after Commencement.

Centre Admissions Counselor Gregory Chery ’11 had a few words of advice for the seniors to take to heart while still in classes.

“You are still in college, so enjoy your senior year,” he explained. “There will be pressure to find a job or to apply for graduate school, but remember to have fun.”

09012015_untitled_35566The seniors were then invited to join President John and First Lady Susie Roush at the Benfactors Plaza behind Old Centre for the Honor Walk kick-off event.

The Class of 2016 will be the fourteenth class to participate in the Honor Walk tradition, that was created in in 2002 to honor those who have had the most profound impact on their Centre Experience.

Roush began his portion of the evening by reminding the students that they “stand at the beginning of their final year at Centre.”

“It’s not too early to start celebrating all that you’ve accomplished in your time here, whether overseas, in the classroom, or on the field or the stage,” he said. “We may be just two days into classes, but Commencement and your graduation are just around the corner.”

He then went on to encourage the seniors to reflect on their days at Centre thus far and to consider the “difference maker” in their college career—one inspiring  individual to be celebrated at the annual Honor Walk in May.

“It is an opportunity to share your gratitude with your chosen person, a moment to pass on your talent as a gift of deep thanks to your honoree,” Roush explains.

The Roushes concluded the evening by distributing the talents, which bear the Centre seal and a representation of the Old Centre quad, to each member of the senior class.

For many members of the Class for 2016, the moment they received their talent marked a bittersweet beginning to their final year.

“You start to think about all the people along the way who have helped you, whether it’s your mentor or your family or friends,” Ashley Barker ’16, a member of the Student Advancement Board, says. “That was the beginning of everything becoming real for me. It was certainly an experience that provided a lot of clarity.”

by Hayley Hoffman ‘16
September 3, 2015