In the week leading up to Commencement, seniors had the opportunity to participate in different activities to celebrate the traditions and sisterhood fostered at Saint Mary’s.The week is a time for students to have one more chance to spend time together as a class, senior class president CoCo Craig said.“It’s time for memories,” Craig said.According to Craig, the week began with a senior formal Sunday, followed by the Alumnae-Senior Champagne Brunch, yoga and scavenger hunt Monday.Senior class vice president Lindsay Rzepecki said the Class of 2016 participation in the Class Gift Campaign — in which each class tries to achieve 100 percent participation in raising money for Saint Mary’s — will be revealed, and the class’s gift will be presented to College President Carol Ann Mooney on Monday.Domerfest 2.0 and Babetostal were held on Tuesday, and the class took a trip Wednesday to Chicago for a Cubs baseball game at Wrigley Field.The main events of the week took place Thursday, Craig said, when students painted handprints in the underground tunnel that connects Le Mans Hall and the Saint Mary’s Student Center and participated in the Saint Mary’s tradition of Opening of the Circle. Additionally, they received their letters from the Letter Writing Project, had a party on the island in Lake Marian and had their final walk down the Avenue.“The Opening of the Circle is a tradition where the president of the class reads a script that basically prepares to send us off, but reminds us we are always welcome to come home,” Craig said. “The Letter Writing Project is a genius idea the Class of 2015 started. Friends, faculty and family write letters to students about the positive impact they have contributed.”The Opening of the Circle will be a time of reflection for the graduates, Rzepecki said.“Opening of the Circle will surely be a sentimental moment for all of us graduating seniors, as we participated in a very similar ceremony [Closing of the Circle] on our first day at Saint Mary’s,” she said. “We will reflect in prayer and join hands with our classmates.”Rzepecki said the week aimed to make memories for students to “carry with us as we move past the comfort of Saint Mary’s.”“Each memory, person, hardship and celebration has made our own personal Saint Mary’s story,” she said. “These unique and precious gifts are something we will not be able to relive, but they will live on. This is the opportunity to celebrate those memories with just us, and only us — the Class of 2016. It’s a time of celebration, and we certainly deserve it.”Senior Isabella Gagnon said in an email she was excited to spend her final days at Saint Mary’s with her classmates.“Senior Week has really allowed me to hang out with girls that I may not usually hang out with, that aren’t in the same major or clubs that I am,” Gagnon said. “It’s also an extra week that we get to pretend we aren’t about to be real adults. We can just … bond with our fellow Belles all week without the stress of finals.”Gagnon said she is looking forward to the Senior Letter Writing Project, as well as other events during the week.“I am excited for taking our final walk down the Avenue,” she said. “I’m pretty sure this is the part where I will start crying uncontrollably. … I want to get as much out of my Saint Mary’s experience as possible. I think it’s important to go to yoga classes and handprint paining to really do that. I’m not doing every Senior Week event, but I will make the best out of the ones I do go to.”Tags: Commencement 2016, saint mary’s, Senior Week
Explore the Western N.C. towns of Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, Sylva, Balsam, Cullowhee, Glenville and Sapphire like never before with Jackson County’s new hiking map. Visitors can pick up the map at the Dillsboro Visitor Center or the Jackson County Visitor Center. In addition, the map will be located in area retail shops, restaurants or accommodations, the Smoky Mountain Host Visitor Center, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel, as well as any state visitor center or chamber. The map will also be available on the Jackson County website for download early this winter.The map, released this fall, includes directions to 19 waterfalls, nine hiking trails, three multiple-use trails for riding or biking, five semi-private and public golf courses, three whitewater rafting and watersports outfitters, three horseback riding locations and eight recreational rental service locations.There are several popular scenic destinations emphasized in the new map. Richland Balsam, along the Blue Ridge Parkway, is the highest point with an elevation of 6,410 feet. Waterrock Knob, an almost 2.5-mile round-trip hike, showcases breathtaking views of the Great Smoky Mountains with an exciting steep trek to the 6,292 foot peak, and Whiteside Mountain features the highest vertical drop of 750 feet in the Eastern U.S. Popular waterfalls on the map include Cashiers Sliding Rock, Silver Run Falls and Whitewater Falls, the highest waterfall in the eastern United States.Jackson County is located approximately 2 to 3 hours from major cities such as Atlanta, Greenville and Charlotte. Plan your mountain getaway and get more information about Jackson County at mountainloversnc.com.Cashiers, Cherokee, Dillsboro, Sylva, Balsam, Cullowhee, Glenville and Sapphire are the distinct locales that make up Western North Carolina’s Jackson County, a place of lofty peaks, rushing water and spectacular scenery. Each of these Blue Ridge Mountain towns provides rich natural beauty that invites visitors to experience the idyllic North Carolina Mountains. Explore miles of hiking trails surrounded by unspoiled forests or discover the area’s shopping, dining, culture, and hometown atmosphere. Experience the thrill of river rafting and tubing or the more laid back adventures of fly fishing, boating, golf, or a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway.“As one of the premier outdoor destinations in the south, we pride ourselves on creating the most active and visitor-friendly environment,” said Robert Jumper, chairman of the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority. “The new hiking map showcases some of the best outdoor tourism attractions and scenic views that Jackson County has to offer. Visitors can now more easily plan their trip activities for the entire county. And best of all, they are invited to ‘Play On’ in our amazing county.”
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