By Michelle Davey
For some 3,000 students, the journey along Ohio University's brick-lined paths is about to come to an end. A new event -- slated for Friday, June 6, on the College Green -- will give the Class of 2008 the opportunity to bid farewell to its alma mater.
The first-ever Senior Farewell Ceremony, sponsored by the Senior Class Council, will give seniors a chance to reminisce about the past four years. Only seniors will be admitted to the event, which begins at 5:30 p.m.
"The Senior Farewell is a way to bring everyone back together to say 'congrats' and 'good luck' and to induct them into the alumni association," Senior Class Council President Lynn Walsh said. "Your student life might be ending, but your career as a Bobcat never will."
The Singing Men of Ohio will perform "Alma Mater, Ohio" to kick off the event, and President Roderick J. McDavis will offer a welcome.
Each student in attendance will be given a senior gift, the details of which are being kept secret, Walsh said. The Senior Class Council would like to start a new university tradition, with the hopes that each future senior class will receive the same gift, but in a unique design for its year of graduation.
The Class of 2008's gift to the university -- a digital time capsule -- also will be presented at the event. Walsh said the capsule will include video of about 15 events memorable to the 2008 graduating class and video segments featuring seniors talking about their experiences and answering questions such as, "What's the first word you think of when you hear 'Ohio University'?"
The Athena yearbook staff also will announce results of the 2008 Most Recognizable Seniors, a distinction voted on by fellow class members.
Food and refreshments will be served, including hot dogs, hamburgers and the university's famous hoho cake. A few copies of the Athena Yearbook will be given away, and uptown businesses will provide coupons as prizes. A sparkling cider toast with McDavis will round out the evening's festivities.
Then, the seniors will end their journey as they began it, proceeding out through the Alumni Gate as the Marching 110 plays the fight song and alma mater.
"It's the (complement) of freshman year, when the class all walked through the gate into the College Green together," Walsh said. "It brings the Ohio University experience full circle."
Advanced tickets cost $5 and can be purchased along with senior t-shirts at Senior Class Council tables in Baker University Center and at the Alumni Gate. Tickets also can be purchased on the Web and will be available at the event for $8. In the event of inclement weather, the Senior Farewell will be held in Memorial Auditorium.
Seniors interested in becoming a part of the digital time capsule are encouraged to find a Senior Class Council table, where cameras will be set up, or arrange a time by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Seniors also can contribute to the final video anytime before or during the Senior Farewell.