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   Date: 5/12/10 Bookmark and Share

Something Old, Something New at Senior Banquet

Albright bequeaths

Click on above image for enlarged view and details about items.

By Julie Colatrella ’12

For students, it’s one of the most beloved Smith traditions: Senior Banquet, an end-of-the-year dinner that brings together house communities to honor the graduating class.

Each class is given an assignment for the evening, which varies somewhat from house to house. First-years are responsible for serving an assigned senior. Sophomores perform a skit that caricatures those in the graduating class. Juniors deliver prophesies about the futures of those about to leave Smith.

One of the most cherished parts of senior banquet—which always takes place during Senior Week—is the tradition of willing, in which seniors give away items they’ve used while at Smith to their younger successors.

“I love clinging to memories and willing is a great opportunity to tell people about what they mean to me,” said Elizabeth Glenn ’10, who willed eight of her belongings. “I didn’t want to give anyone anything that was useless, so I tried to think about the people individually and what it meant to me to give it and what it would mean to them to receive it.”

Willing gives the senior benefactor and her beneficiary a chance to relive memories while appreciating their friendship. “It’s so nice to have someone think of you in that completely surprising way that says they were reminded of you when you weren’t even around,” said Grace Anderson ’12, a sophomore looking forward to the day when she can will her things to others. “It makes you feel like, ‘Wow, this person saw this thing and connected it to me,’ and it means a lot.”

Willed items can often be useful. Hayley Raetz ’12 received a pair of red converse sneakers from Elizabeth Glenn, who wore the shoes in Cordoba during her year abroad. “It was really special and personal,” said Raetz. “Those shoes have been in the place where I’ll be studying abroad next year and they’ll really help me remember this friendship.”

Other useful items willed this year included furniture, refrigerators, drying racks, and decorations for dorm rooms.

For seniors and non-seniors alike, Senior Banquet provides one of the best house-bonding occasions of the year, said Raetz. “It’s a great opportunity for everyone in the house to get together and realize how important the relationships we’ve crafted this year are to each of us and, specifically, how close we are to the seniors.”

Anderson agreed. “You can feel the community in the atmosphere and how much we’re all looking forward to having that one moment where the whole house turns towards you and shows that they know you and are excited for you,” she said.

Of course, the moment is most special for seniors, who have patiently served their part in banquets of their predecessors, awaiting their time. “I’ve been looking forward to having my own banquet all year,” said Glenn. “It’s a really nice opportunity for all of the seniors to sit there and look back at how far they’ve come together.”

Photos by Roberge

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