February 14, 2014
The 100 Days Countdown to Commencement - A Bittersweet Celebration
On February 6th, the graduating class of 2014 celebrated their final one hundred days as undergraduate students. Taking place during Founder's Week, this event was a pivotal inclusion for the senior class as they marked the countdown to Commencement. As a member of the graduating class of 2014, I found the event to be extraordinary and one of the most genuine experiences I have had at Emmanuel. The formal cocktail attire, the violinist and pianist collaboration and the dimly lit Chapel all created an ambiance true to the exceptionality of the 100 Days Celebration.
During a candlelit ceremony, class officers Jenny Konecnik and Shannon Croy each shared their thoughts on the evening and about their time spent at Emmanuel. Another influential figure who spoke to the group was Fr. John P. Spencer, SJ, College Chaplain and Associate Vice President of Mission + Ministry. Fr. Spencer provided the seniors with words of encouragement that allowed the anticipation of our upcoming graduation to sink in. It was with the use of the word "bittersweet" that Fr. Spencer really spoke to the sentiment on that evening. Despite the obvious excitement surrounding the 100 Days Celebration, this word caused us to reflect on our memories had at Emmanuel.
While reflecting on the years spent here, many students felt that the 100 Days Celebration became one of their favorite campus events. Ally Lambert '14 remarked that the ringing of the bells 100 times was her favorite experience.
"We hear the bells so many times throughout the day and it's such an Emmanuel icon." Lambert said. "I loved that they incorporated them into the service-it's so symbolic."
With candles in hand, members of the senior class stood in silence, taking the time to indulge in the harmonic sounds of the Chapel bells, which rang 100 times-indicative of the final 100 days. In these wordless moments, classmates exchanged smiles and glances, acknowledging the unspoken bond had between this graduating class. Following the chiming of the bells, students took their flames and lit a collection of candles on the altar, shaped as the number 14. This glowing number became a photo opportunity for several of the students.
Shannon Croy '14 stated that her "favorite part of the 100 days celebration was that I got to see everyone from the class come together and celebrate how far we have made it."
This sentiment spoke to the entire evening. It is infrequent that the whole class is gathered together, and the cohesiveness of the group on this evening was comforting, recognizing the fact that we were all in the same bittersweet place. The reception in the auditorium gave students another chance to mingle with the accompaniment of live music, beverages and appetizers.
With just a few short months left at Emmanuel College for the members of the senior class, many students are working towards completing their final course credits while still finding time to make memories. Though the 100 Days Celebration created a bittersweet aura of the dwindling days, it is in the interest of many to make these last days their best days. As a member of the graduating class of 2014, I too am anticipating what the future holds, but am thankful for the friendships, skills, and memories created here at Emmanuel.