Graduation, Senior Week Events Fast Approaching

by Elizabeth Davis

“New adventure.”

These words are both those spoken by President Shearer regarding his retirement and words that describe life beyond commencement for the Transylvania class of 2010. This dual commencement makes the event unique, as it marks the beginning of a new era for both Transylvania’s graduates and its presidency.

“It’s a nostalgic time,” said Shearer, who will be giving the keynote speech. “I’m looking back with appreciation for all the wonderful memories that have made up my 27 years.”

Shearer stated that his speech, which is still in progress, will likely be about these memories and the lessons he has learned over the years. That is, he joked, if he can write it “without boring the graduates to death.” He stated that the precedent for his retirement speech at graduation was set by Dean Mosley, who gave the keynote speech the year of his retirement.

Senior Tyler Murphy, who will be the student speaker, shared the sense of nostalgia expressed by Shearer.

“We have shared so much over these past four years, and I feel a deep connection to and friendship with everyone in our class,” Murphy said.

Murphy stated that the class is “entering the world at difficult times,” which could complicate plans for postgraduate work.

However, he also said, “I’m confident that the class of 2010 can and will be successful in whatever paths we pursue. … I’m just grateful that I – like so many in our class – do have some options.”

As for his own plans directly after retirement, Shearer said, “(I have) uncertainty about how that’s going to go. … I’ll have a lot more free time. We’ll see how long that lasts.”

Shearer stated that he does plan to retain an office on campus in order to stay involved with life at Transy, as well as help new president Owen Williams become more familiar with the duties of his office and the school as a whole.

Even though commencement is close at hand for seniors, there is still the Senior Challenge and Senior Week in which seniors are encouraged to participate.

The Senior Challenge, in which seniors contribute a monetary gift through either pledges or donations, goes toward a four-year scholarship for an incoming first-year selected by the senior class to receive the gift. This year’s goal, said Assistant Director of Annual Giving Rikki Starich, is $22,000, a goal which she stated seniors have nearly met through their contribution of $20,182.

Senior Week, which lasts from May 25-28, is a tradition that Diane Fout, director of student activities and the Campus Center, stated has lasted for at least 20 years. These five days feature evening activities for seniors ranging from bowling to picnics, beginning with a formal senior dinner on Tuesday night.

Commencement will be held outside in front of Old Morrison on Saturday, May 29, at 10 a.m. In case of inclement weather, the venue will be changed to the Clive M. Beck Athletic and Recreation Center.


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