After final examinations are finished and first-year, sophomore and junior students have left campus, one of Gustavus’s cherished traditions begins. Senior Week, a week of activities for seniors to enjoy the company of their classmates, will feature music, food and events planned by fellow students and college administrators. Senior Week has been a college-advised function for the past 15 years. Having Student Senate, Campus Activities Board, the President’s Office, the Alumni Association and other groups involved keeps the week’s activities affordable and responsible for students.
The events were planned by two Senior Week Co-Chairs: Senior Psychology Major Logan Haglund and Senior Classics and Mathematics Major Patty O’Connor. They responded to a request sent out to the senior class and interviewed for the position, which involved supervising committees for each event and working with Senior Week advisers Andrea Junso, Deirdre Rosenfeld and Erin Wilken.
“We’re pretty much working with everybody on campus—Dining Services, the President’s Office, Alumni Relations, CAB … everyobody. It definitely takes a lot of people to make it happen,” O’Connor said.
“I feel like [Senior Week] is coming around full circle from first-year orientation,” Haglund said. “It’ll be really nice to just have us and our friends and all of these activities and fun things to do—and not have to worry about homework.”
Senior Week will begin Tuesday, May 24 at 6:30 p.m. with a Caribbean Kickoff, sponsored by the Office of Alumni Relations. The event is intended to welcome seniors into the Gustavus Alumni Association, which will be commemorated with a champagne toast at 7:15 p.m. The event is free.
The kickoff will be followed by a concert from the Johnny Holm Band in Alumni Hall, beginning at 8:00 p.m. The cost is $10 per person, and there will be free snacks and a cash bar.
Wednesday, May 25, a hypnotist will perform in Alumni Hall from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Students might remember the hypnotist, Brian Imbus, as the same performer from first-year Orientation. This event is free. Following the performance, there will be a senior Dive Night. All of the regular rules will apply to the Dive, except that only seniors will be allowed in. The music theme will be songs from 2007, seniors’ first year of college.
The following day, May 26, buses will take students to Valleyfair. The shuttle will leave for the park at 9:00 a.m. and will return at 4:00 p.m. The cost is $18. Valleyfair is the largest amusement park in the upper Midwest, featuring over 50 rides and a water park.
Thursday evening, May 26, will be the President’s Banquet, hosted by the President’s Office. There will be a keynote speech from a professor, chosen by students in collaboration with President Ohle, as well as a speaker from the Alumni Association. The event is free.
Friday, May 27, students are invited to President and Mrs. Ohle’s home for tailgating before the Minnesota Twins game. From 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. the Ohles will host free food, activites and giveaways.
After the tailgating event, buses will leave Three Flags for Target Field at 4:30 p.m. Four-hundred tickets were available to seniors beginning last Monday, and they sold quickly. Students may check the Information Desk for availability. The cost is $20 per person, and custom T-shirts are available for $6. The Twins will be playing the Los Angeles Angels.
The final day of Senior Week will be Saturday, May 28. Commencement rehearsal will begin at 9:00 a.m. in Lund Center Arena. There will also be a candlelight service in Christ Chapel at 9:30 p.m. for songs, reflection and gathering.
Only current seniors are allowed to participate in Senior Week events. Seniors who have a fall semester left, or students graduating are eligible.
“We recognize that it’s a celebratory week, that people are excited, that they want to spend time together. … When alumni reflect on their experience at Gustavus, they often refer to Senior Week as being the best week of their life,” Assistant Director of Student Activities Andrea Junso said.
The cost of the entire week’s events, including the Twins T-shirt, is under $55, compared to about $100 in previous years.
“It’s super reasonable to be able to spend time with the people that you’ve experienced the last four years with, and it’s a week that students will not forget,” Junso said.
“I feel like it’s almost a week of what people wish college was like; hanging out with your friends, doing fun things and not being burdened by schoolwork and class and things like that. It’s a time for people to spend time together, before everybody goes their separate ways,” O’Connor said.
The Senior Week advisers would also like to advise seniors to consume responsibly, if they choose to do so at all.