Senior/honors chapel serves as a celebration of the graduating seniors and will begin a day of festivities for seniors including a luminary-lit walk to Pioneer Rock and a picnic lunch at President Pistole’s house.
One of the most significant things about senior/honors chapel is the opportunity it provides for a few specially-selected seniors to speak to their peers and AU faculty.
This year, Mariah Beatty, Alexis Franklin and Alexis Sorrell have been picked by faculty and peers to represent the senior class as the chapel speakers.
Mariah Beatty is double majoring in psychology and youth leadership development and minoring in criminal justice. Being chosen to speak on behalf of the senior class for chapel is both a surprise and a big honor for Beatty.
“It means almost more than I can put into words,” explained Beatty. “Being selected for me means being recognized. Not only for my accomplishments in school, but it also means that my time here at AU was spent doing more than just academics. It was spent making connections with people that I’ll take with me for years after AU.”
Alexis Franklin is double majoring in political science and youth leadership development with a minor in legal studies and is also very honored by the opportunity to share her story.
“I think the main reason I went for it in the end was so I could share my AU story,” explained Franklin. “I have loved the past four years at Anderson and maybe sharing my experience could encourage someone who hears it.”
Through her speech, Beatty wants to emphasize the unique four years that the senior class has had to endure due to the pandemic.
“I want to portray that it’s valid that you feel like part of your college experience might have been stripped from you,” said Beatty. “But at the same time, recognizing that you persevered through it and the significance of going through that pandemic but still making it to graduation. That is a huge accomplishment in itself.”
Franklin, on the other hand, wants to focus on all the memorable moments from the last four years that many of the seniors share and encourage all other students to appreciate their time at AU.
“I hope to encourage the students who attend chapel to cherish their time here at Anderson,” said Franklin. “I hope by hearing my story people will think of positive memories from their own experiences at AU.”
Although both Beatty and Franklin are excited for the opportunity to speak, they are nervous as well, knowing that all eyes will be on them.
This is a big step for someone like Beatty who—like many students—was nervous about public speaking and Speech class during her freshman year.
Now as a graduating senior, she has the opportunity to speak in front of all the faculty and students at chapel, demonstrating the growth that Beatty and many other students go through during their four years at AU.
“This is very unexpected. I’m just excited and scared,” said Beatty.
Senior/honors chapel is an important celebration of the seniors and all of their growth between their freshman year and graduation. Beatty and Franklin are looking forward to the festivities for seniors on April 21 and the opportunity to share their experiences and wisdom at chapel.