Senior retreat offers time for reflection

by Bridget M. Rohrer
Editorial Assistant

Near the end of each school year, Senior Retreat gives graduating students a chance spend a weekend away at camp to put closure on another part of their lives.

“They go full circle once they revisit Mile High Pines Camp,” said Melissa Jaunal, coordinator of student programs.

With the payment of a $5 fee, graduating seniors take a trip to Mile High Pines and reflect on how their college experience at La Verne began. With their sleeping bags and enthusiasm, the seniors hear from Dr. Len Hightower, dean of student affairs, and chat with Harvel Lewis, coordinator of minority student affairs near the camp fire.

“We repeat a lot of what the group did on its first visit [during Orientation],” said Jaunal. “We even have Dwight Hanawalt leading us in folk dancing again.”

Jaunal explained that most people go on the retreat because of a connection they have to the University. For some students, she said, it is hard for them to leave and the weekend in the mountains helps them through it.

“It helps to make the transition from college to career or graduate school a little bit easier,” she said.

“I can’t wait to go,” said Kristi Moran, an international business and Spanish major graduating this spring. “It’s like closing a good book and not wanting it to have ended.”

Moran explained that, for her, Senior Retreat is the finale to a great four years.

“It’s a reality check for those of us that can’t believe that the end has come. It will make leaving a little bit easier.”

The Senior Retreat Committee, responsible for planning and coordinating the event, consists of co-chairs, Jaunal and Terrie Lopez, coordinator of career placement; Administrative Chair, Dr. Teresa Bader, director of student development programs; Faculty Representative Dr. Dan Campana, associate professor of philosophy and religion; Helena Gerstenberg, housing and residential life director; Senior Representatives Rose Mangahis and Derek Morales; and Junior Representatives Vince Wetzel and Erika Tellez. The group planned a number of activities for the weekend, including having the seniors read the goal letters they wrote at Orientation.

“We try to make the weekend as personal as possible,” said Jaunal.

Moran is looking forward to a wide variety of possibilities in the future, but acknowledges that La Verne will always be close to her heart wherever she is and whatever she is doing.

Graduating senior Jon Brower feels much the same way about leaving La Verne. Four years ago, he came to school not knowing anyone and now he is parting with a number of people that he has become close friends with.

“I’m looking forward to having a great time,” said Brower. “As a freshman, I didn’t know anyone and now I get to remember the days with everyone. This marks the end of a great four years.”

Most of the funds for the retreat come from soliciting amongst the various departments on campus that the committee contacts. The $5 that the students pay is more to ensure that they are going, than to ease the budget.

Latest Stories

Related articles

Professor considers ‘Faith of Emerson’

Dan Campana, professor of philosophy and religion, discussed his book “The Faith of Emerson,” which is about Ralph Waldo Emerson’s views of faith and American individualism, on April 11 in the Quay Davis Executive Board Room before an audience of about 20.

Dr. Felicia Beardsley left an impact at the University

Friends, family, and faculty members gathered together to celebrate the life of Dr. Felicia Beardsley on Monday for a sage ceremony and a service in Morgan Auditorium.

Rabbi inspires interfaith dialogue

Rabbi Eric Yoffie highlighted the importance of interfaith discussion and the role of religion in today’s society, to students, faculty and staff during a Fasnacht Lecture Oct. 22 in Morgan Auditorium.

‘Mother of Diversity’ honored at ULV

Harvel Lewis’ legacy as “Mother of Diversity” at the University of La Verne carried through Sunday, outside of Founders Hall, where a tree was dedicated in her honor.