On May 18, the Class of 2014 will receive their diplomas and become proud graduates of St. Lawrence University. No matter how much I want time to slow down, my time as a student here is coming to a close and a new chapter of my life is going to begin. As I enjoy my last few days of my senior spring, I find myself constantly reflecting on the many memories and experiences I have had here at St. Lawrence.
But before looking back on my senior year, I recall the first time I visited St. Lawrence. I remember walking around campus on a warm summer day in June 2009, as my tour guide talked about why St. Lawrence would be a great fit for me. But my first reaction upon arriving to campus was, “Wow, that drive was an hour longer than I thought,” and “I didn’t know how big a state New York really is.”
As a high school student, I had no idea what I wanted to major in. I knew I wanted to study abroad, have small classes where I would get to know my professors, be in a rural location and be near cool outdoor recreation areas. After going on tour, I began to realize St. Lawrence fit all the things I was looking for at the time, and I sent my application in later that year. I still remember getting my acceptance letter the following March, and how excited I was. I visited campus a few days later, staying overnight with a student and attending an Open House the following day. Despite the gray weather, the final aspect that convinced me to come to St. Lawrence was the excitement of every person I met on my visit, and I submitted my deposit shortly after I returned home.
In the past few weeks, I have told my story of why I decided to attend St. Lawrence many times while I led tours of campus for accepted students that would be part of the Class of 2018. Looking back, I can honestly say that everything I was looking for as a high school senior I was able to find here at St. Lawrence. I found what I was passionate about academically, and am about to graduate as an environmental studies and government combined major. I was able to study abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the fall of 2012, which is something I will always remember for the rest of my life. I have been able to enjoy classes with amazing professors, and can now say that many of them have been mentors for me. I have come to love the beauty of the North Country and taken full advantage of the beautiful Adirondack Park. Finally, I have discovered the amazing community here at St. Lawrence and beyond campus.
The phrase “Laurentian for Life” is often heard here on campus. But this term is hard to explain. The biggest discovery of my time here at St. Lawrence has been the amazing connection students and alumni have to St. Lawrence. Whether they graduated 50 years ago or are a current student today, Laurentians have a shared bond that transcends generations.
The idea of “Laurentian for Life” is especially relevant today as the senior class comes to grips with the reality of our impending graduation. While we will travel to many places around the globe to live and work, Canton and the North Country will always hold a special place in our hearts. Whenever the next time it is we return to campus, whether it is in a week, a year, 10 years, or 50 years from now, St. Lawrence will still be our home. And we will always be linked as members of the St. Lawrence family, a connection that will continue for generations. As the last two lines of our alma mater go:
"We will sing thy praise, through endless days,
to the Scarlet and the Brown."
To the Class of 2014: Thank you for four amazing years here at St. Lawrence; let’s enjoy our last few days on campus.
And to the Class of 2018: Welcome to St. Lawrence and this community of Laurentians for Life.