Senior Week gives '02s a chance to kick back

by Megh Duwadi | 6/9/02 5:00am

The product of more than a term's worth of efforts by the 2002 Class Council, Senior Week's many recreational activities gave graduates a chance to relax and enjoy their last days as Dartmouth students.

"The final days leading up to graduation are chaotic, emotional and very special, and they pass too quickly," said class president Jennifer Tutak, who spearheaded the week's organizational efforts. "The '02 Class Council decided to hold events that the seniors would be able to enjoy without making the week even crazier, and reflecting about what the seniors would most want to do, we decided to set aside time for the class to just hang out together."

Beginning June 4 with an afternoon kickoff in Collis Commonground and a free showing of "American Pie 2" outside Blunt Alumni Center, '02s were able to profit from class finances by picking up complimentary senior T-shirts.

Many seniors also participated in Wednesday afternoon's ice cream sundae party with class dean Carolynne Kurzi at her home on Occom Pond, where College President James Wright and Dean of Student Life Holly Sateia were presented with honorary class rings.

A senior-faculty brunch Thursday morning at the Top of the Hop allowed '02s to mingle with their professors, while the always-popular Senior 'Tails that night provided the week with its one semi-formal event. Those who attended received complimentary champagne flutes, courtesy of the 2002 Class Council.

Many family members began arriving in Hanover on Friday, and at a reception at Wright's house that evening, seniors and relatives were invited to tour the interior of the mansion.

Senior Week concluded yesterday, as the entire '02 class proceeded from Leede Arena to the BEMA to hear speeches by Wright, Tutak, student speaker Jeff Garrett '02, alumni president Vanessa Green '02 and biology professor and pre-med adviser Lee Witters.

Following Class Day tradition, seniors sat encircled in a cedar garland at the BEMA and placed pieces of the garland on the Lone Pine Stump upon the event's end.

Other rituals formerly characterized Class Day festivities. Before 1993, seniors smashed clay pipes against the Lone Pine Stump, marking a break in ties with the College. When Native American students' protests that year forced students to end the rite, a switch to clay cups was made. Many injuries from flying shards brought a quick finish to this practice the following year.

After the distribution of student and faculty awards at the Bema, many seniors headed off to the annual Baccalaureate ceremony at Rollins Chapel and an honorary degree reception in Baker Library. A graduation gala that evening in Collis ended with seniors walking in a candlelit procession back to the Bema to sing "Dartmouth Undying" at midnight.

Despite the frenzy associated with planning an event of this magnitude, Tutak said that it was well worth the effort.

"I really love the '02 class," she said. "It's been a labor of love to work on Senior Week, although it's hard work Spring term since so many seniors are involved in thesis writing and finding jobs."

The '02 Class Council funded some Senior Week events in full. Other events were funded and put on by Wright, the College and the Hood Museum, Tutak said.