Seniors say farewell, send lanterns on Lake Hollifield

The lanterns floated across lake Hollifield. Photo by Elizabeth Banfield

 

By: Elizabeth Banfield

Sunday evening, May 1, many of this year’s graduating class gathered on the back patio of Tucker to eat pizza, make smores, spend time together, reflect on their time at Gardner-Webb and symbolically say goodbye by releasing paper lanterns across Lake Hollifield.

Seniors walk from Tucker to the Lake with their lit lanterns, reflecting on their time at Gardner-Webb as they prepare to release their lanterns on the lake. Photo by Elizabeth Banfield

Seniors walk from Tucker to the Lake with their lit lanterns, reflecting on their time at Gardner-Webb as they prepare to release their lanterns on the lake.
Photo by Elizabeth Banfield

 

Seniors gathered to hear Caitlyn Brotherton, the senior class president, say a few words before they released their lanterns. Photo by Elizabeth Banfield

Seniors gathered to hear Caitlyn Brotherton, the senior class president, say a few words before they released their lanterns.
Photo by Elizabeth Banfield

This event was sponsored by SGA and organized by the senior class president, Caitlyn Brotherton. At the event Brotherton addressed the group saying, “We made it. We did it.”

The group of seniors stood around her facing Lake Hollifield and reflecting on what Gardner-Webb has meant to them as she continued. “Some of us are moving away, some of us are getting married, some of us are visiting amazing places across the world, some of us have jobs and some do not, some of us are moving home, and some of us have no idea. All of us, however, should be proud of ourselves,” she said.

 

Micah Martin lights Taylor Schwartz's lantern for her. Photo by Elizabeth Banfield

Micah Martin lights Taylor Schwartz’s lantern for her.
Photo by Elizabeth Banfield

Taylor Schwartz and Giorgie Graves release their lanterns on the lake. Photo by Elizabeth Banfield

Taylor Schwartz and Giorgie Graves release their lanterns on the lake.
Photo by Elizabeth Banfield

 

Following Brotherton’s speech, each senior lit a lantern and set it free in the lake, symbolically saying goodbye to the place they have lived and learned at for the past four years.

While the event was abruptly interrupted by a sudden downpour of rain, the seniors were not deterred. As soon as the rain stopped they relit many of the lanterns. Sarah Currie, dean of students, called the sight of them floating across the lake magical.

 

 

Currie and Micah Martin, director of student leadership development and community engagement, said there are hopes of this becoming a tradition in the years to come as a nice way to conclude the year for seniors.

For seniors now, this event was a time of reflection as they await their day of graduation on Saturday, May 8.

To see all photos from the event, click here.

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