BC SealBoston College Magazine Summer 2005
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. Linden Lane
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Senior moment

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The Class of 2005 inaugurates a parade

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Early on Commencement morning, May 22, as the last seniors left the rooftop of the Beacon Street Garage and the traditional final sunrise viewing, the first seniors began to arrive for a new pre-Commencement rite on Linden Lane. The inaugural Commencement Assembly drew in the entire undergraduate Class of 2005 for an outdoor breakfast, brief speeches, and a procession to Alumni Stadium, where the main graduation ceremony took place.

"We'd like [the event] to complement and bookend Freshman Convocation, a new tradition we began this past fall for the Class of 2008," said Joseph Burns, associate vice president for undergraduate programs. "We hope that both will become beloved—and improved-upon—rituals." In place of parked cars, 20 long tables rimmed Linden Lane, topped with white tablecloths, coffee urns, and baskets of breakfast bars. Students in caps and gowns grazed, mingled, and chatted on cell phones, exchanging coordinates and arranging rendezvous; some held aloft makeshift beacons—colored water bottles, handwritten signs, a teddy bear dressed in BC colors.

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At 8:50, Fr. Joseph Marchese's voice boomed over the loudspeaker, instructing the seniors to assemble according to school in four lines. Marchese, who runs freshman orientation, had last directed the Class of 2005 when they arrived in the summer of 2001. After brief remarks by Academic Vice President Jack Neuhauser and Grace Simmons '05, the school deans offered congratulations and further instructions: The Carroll School would proceed left of the eagle statue, across O'Neill Plaza, and down the Higgins stairs. The Connell School and the Lynch School would process to the right of the eagle statue, past their respective buildings, and down the Merkert steps. The College of Arts & Sciences would march through the rotunda of Gasson Hall and then join them. Faculty in academic berets and bright-colored robes became traffic cops, exchanging greetings with passing students. Usually, noted Bill Stanwood, an adjunct assistant professor of communication, Commencement allows few opportunities to say hello to individual students—"or, more importantly, to say goodbye."

Video of the event can be seen at www.bc.edu/atbc.

Cara Feinberg

 


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