Class of 2014 students move up during Closing Convocation

It was snowy on Tuesday, April 15, when students, faculty, administration, family and friends gathered in the Campbell Memorial Chapel for the 2014 Closing Convocation. Snow aside the show still went on. The program began with the seniors marching in, wearing their graduation robes for the first time. Next, was the singing of the National Anthem by the Chatham Choir.

Then, there was the flag procession where some of the international students marched down the aisles of the chapel and up onto the stage holding their home flags with pride. After that, there was a dance by two Chilean dancers. The welcome was next and the Class of 2014 president, Caiden Fratangelo, conducted it. Fratangelo addressed the seniors first by saying, “We did it!” and then commented that the seniors are done with tutorials. Fratangelo also addressed the audience by welcoming them to the program. Fratangelo then introduced the president of Chatham University, Esther Barazzone.

President Barazzone then took to the podium and addressed the seniors and congratulated them on completing their tutorials and said that they will be seeing each other a lot more in the coming weeks with commencement. President Barazzone then thanked the Chilean dancers for participating in the program.President  Barazzone also welcomed faculty and asked them to stand and also addressed a member of Chatham’s Board of Trustees who was present. Barazzone ended by wishing everyone a nice summer.

Next, was the Chatham Choir who sang a selection titled “Now is the time for parting.” The next person to come to the stage was Dean Karol Dean, the Dean of Chatham College for Women, who presented the Jane Burger Advising Award for Faculty. The winner of this award then announced the winners of the Tutorial Hat Competition. The winners received a $50 dollar gift card. Then the Chatham Choir was back to perform the Ivy of Chatham.

Dean Dean came back on stage to present awards to students in categories such as academics, experiential and travel, and all campus. One of the winners in the academics category was senior Courtney Druzak. “For me, Closing Convocation was a bit odd this year. It doesn’t seem quite true that it will be the last one that I get to attend (at least as a student),” Druzak said. “Honestly, it seems natural that I’ll return to Chatham University in the fall—I can’t really imagine myself anywhere else at this point yet.”

The Alumnae Association Award and Colors Ceremony were next. Chatham Alumna Leah Thompson of the class of 1993 presented the Alumnae Association Award. Thompson then presented purple and white flowers to Fratangelo, officially making them alumni. Frantangelo then presented flowers to the sister class of 2016 who was represented by their president, Brittani Berch-Schmidt. The colors of the flowers were yellow and white which is the Class of 2014’s colors. Berch-Schmidt said that she would present these flowers to her sister class, the class of 2018 at Opening Convocation in the fall.

Then, the end of year video was presented. It started out with students dancing to Pharrell Williams’ hit song “Happy”. This video brought a lot of laughs from the audience. Interspersed with the dancing students told who or what makes them happy.

Berch-Schmidt then returned to the stage to introduce the Moving Up Ceremony. In this ceremony, the seniors get up first and move up to the balcony. The juniors move to where the seniors were and the sophomores move where the juniors were and then the first-years move where the sophomores were. During the Moving Up ceremony, there was a slideshow being show with music sung by senior Erika Ramsey. The program ended with the singing of the Alma Mater.