By: Kyle Cochran
There are many signs of spring having sprung on TCU’s campus. Students can be seen tossing a football in the campus commons, tulips are planted seemingly every day in the flower beds, and group projects, tests, and papers all come to a close in preparation for the end of the year. While most students on campus approach summer with a sense of excitement and relief, what with study abroad trips, internships, and some time away from the classroom right around the corner, another group approaches it with a much greater sense of anxiety: the seniors.
As April comes to a close and May quickly approaches, seniors’ minds are more occupied with the ideas of solidifying a job, finding living arrangements, and finally leaving the place that they have called home for the last four years. Having graduated not twelve months ago, I can certainly understand the uncertainty that students have of transitioning from the student role to that of an alumnus.
With this, though, the end of a student’s undergraduate career is obviously a time to celebrate, as well. Students deserve to look proudly upon their TCU accomplishments and reflect on ways in which TCU has prepared them to be successful throughout their careers. TCU certainly understands the idea of celebrating during this time of year and has prepared many events and ceremonies to send the senior class out in the right way. Here is a look at what students can expect in the weeks and days leading up to graduation.
Celebration of University Leadership – Tuesday, April 28
The Celebration of University Leadership is an event designed to honor student leaders who have made an impact on campus and in the community. Awards are given out to students and to student organizations around campus who truly exemplify TCU’s mission statement by embodying ideas of “ethical leadership” and “responsible citizenship.” While a plaque and another bullet point on a résumé may be nice touches to end a student’s senior year, the real value in the event comes from student leaders being able to come together and recognize each other’s achievements. As TCU aims to connect students to each other throughout their time on campus, students not only get to see their classmates, but also their close friends honored at the event.
Senior Toast – Wednesday, May 7
The Senior Toast is one of the less sentimental events during this time, but is centered on having fun! The entire senior class is invited to the lawn between the Alumni Center and the football stadium to eat delicious Tex-Mex food and drink purple margaritas (yes, they do exist). During the event, Chancellor Boschini speaks, thanking the students for their contributions to the TCU community. Throughout the event, prizes like iPads, diploma frames, and TCU football tickets are raffled off so students can take home a little something more than a full stomach. With beautiful spring weather in Fort Worth, the Senior Toast is always a highlight for the graduating class and yet another time for friends to come together to celebrate.
Honors Laureate Ceremony – Friday, May 9
Each year on the night before the all-campus Commencement, the John V. Roach Honors College holds is own ceremony for all students who have graduated with Honors from TCU. With a much more intimate ceremony, each Honors College graduate walks across the stage and receives his or her Honors stole to wear as part of the graduation regalia the next day. Each student actually gets to choose the professor or staff member who will give him or her the stole in an act called “hooding.” In addition to this, students are able to sign the giant purple tome housed in Scharbauer Hall that has the signature of every Honors Graduate from TCU. Honors faculty and staff members speak at the event as well and help students reflect on what they got out of their Honors College experiences.
Spring Commencement – Saturday, May 10
Finally, the day arrives. Each student in the graduating class comes together to walk across stage and receive his or her diploma. Family members and friends aim to hold their applause until the final student has walked (yeah, right) as students finally put a cap (get it?) on their TCU career. Normally, two commencement ceremonies take place in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum (DMC), TCU’s basketball arena, but this year, due to the DMC construction, all seniors will walk in one ceremony for the first time in Amon G. Carter Stadium, the home of TCU’s football team. This class will likely be the only class to ever graduate at Amon G. Carter, so while the Texas weather is uncertain, the memories created by the graduates and their families will be indelible!