Monday, November 11, 2013

[229] MTSU resumes ‘Senior Day’ to celebrate, prepare future alumni

Nov. 19 event to offer info on graduate school, alumni opportunities

MURFREESBORO — Middle Tennessee State University is bringing ‘Senior Day’ back to campus to not only salute graduating seniors, but to also share graduate school options and opportunities to stay closely connected to the Blue Raider community as an alumnus.

Organized by Alumni Relations, the Development Office and the College of Graduate Studies, Senior Day is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, on the second floor of the Student Union. Lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with door prizes available.

“We wanted to bring back Senior Day because we feel that it was important to send the seniors off correctly, and offer them a service that had been missing the last few years,” said Paul Wydra, assistant director of MTSU Alumni Relations.

The free event especially targets seniors graduating in December, but all seniors are welcome. No registration is required.

“It is all about the connection between the graduating senior and MTSU,” Wydra added, “and we feel that this is an important step towards completing your time here as an undergraduate student and strengthening that connection to your University now and for the future as an alumnus.”

Participants include the Development Office, Alumni Relations, College of Graduate Studies, Financial Aid, Career Development Center, Young Alumni Group, Blue Raider Athletic Association, Blue Raider Ticket Office, Phillips Bookstore and the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center.

Organizers said students can learn about graduate programs, make an appointment with career services to review their resume, find out what the Alumni Association has to offer and learn what they can do to give back to their alma mater.

Among students planning to attend is senior Demarius Love, a criminal justice major set to graduate in May 2014. Like other students, Love navigated personal twists and turns along the way, changing from a chemistry major as a sophomore.

“It feels great to be a senior and to finally make it this far in my collegiate career … I’m in that home stretch,” said the 22-year-old Nashville resident. “It’s been a great experience here at MTSU.”

Love, who plans to go to law school in the near future, said he’s glad the university is bringing back Senior Day because “it inspires you and pushes you to go further. You can never be too educated — that’s one of the things my parents always stressed to me. No one can ever take away your education.”

“As a future alumnus, I will definitely want to give back to the university and present those current students with any advice about internship opportunities and things like that,” Love said.

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee said the return of Senior Day reflects the university’s renewed emphasis on increasing student success as outlined in the university’s Quest for Success program unveiled in early October.

The goal of the initiative is to target processes and practices that create barriers to student success. It also outlines plans to revamp academic advising, such as creating an alumni map for every student from recruitment through graduation to alumni status. Activities such as Senior Day bolster this effort.

“It’s an opportunity to reach out to seniors in appreciation, celebrate their success, treat them to lunch, and offer them access to services they may need as they prepare to graduate,” McPhee said. “This is a great opportunity for seniors to get their questions answered about life after college.”

Rising senior Shandi Sigler, 22, will graduate in December 2014. Like Love, she plans to attend Senior Day and strongly encourages others to do so as well.

“I think Senior Day is a great idea because I think a lot of students just aren’t aware of the opportunities that are available to them after they graduate,” said Sigler, who works in the university’s Development Office and is involved with Alumni Relations.

The Oregon native moved to Murfreesboro to study music business in MTSU’s nationally recognized recording industry program. She’s already applying for internships and plans to stay in the Nashville area once she graduates and hopefully begin a career in Music City.

“I love the recording industry program because it’s one of the best in the country,” Sigler said. “I’ve really enjoyed school, so the idea of graduating soon is somewhat bittersweet in a lot of ways… I’ve met a lot of great people at MTSU.” 

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