On December 4th, communication senior students gathered in D.Vickers to defend their theses. The entirety of their college career culminated to this moment. It was a morning of nerves and relief; relief that this chapter in life is complete.
Before the student speeches, there was a period to mingle with students, parents, faculty and student organizations. The Press Club, Public Relations Student Society of America, and National Broadcast Society were there recruiting new members. The NBS president, Jordan Reid, commented on the excitement in the room, “The energy in the room is fueled by nervousness and excitement.”
The state of mind of the graduates was shaky for some. Sarah Barbier said, “If I can make it through without crying, it’ll be a success.” After their presentations students are asked questions by respondents, which can be as nerve-racking as the presentation itself. Barbier said, “Crying is my back up plan,” when thinking about answering the respondent’s questions.
The welcoming speech was delivered by Dr. Lucia Harrison and Dr. Claire Procopio. Graduating senior and eagle scout Drew Sagona led the Pledge of Allegiance. After that, there were some remarks from Dr. Procopio. She mentioned all of the hard work the students have put into the papers and also about the history of the Senior Colloquium which started in 2004. It was then time for student presentations.
The students’ presentations were grouped into specific categories based on the subject of their paper. Each group had a moderator and a respondent. The students came prepared for the trial. Their information was conveyed through a combination of a prepared speech and a powerpoint.
After all of the students presented, their nerves were finally relaxed. “It’s like the Breakfast Club walking out of here,” Jennifer Babcock said with her fist in the air. Another student, Ryne Berthelot, was relieved by this victory but said, “There is an uncertainty of what happens next.” Life after graduation is scary to some students.
There was an award and pinning ceremony to close the Colloquium. Hailey Lange was awarded the Best Senior Thesis award for her paper. Then, the students got their pins. Most students chose a family member to pin them, some chose faculty members. After the ceremony there was a sigh of relief from the students. The battle was over and the anxiety subsided.