‘Senior Day’ returns Nov. 19 with free lunch, info...

‘Senior Day’ returns Nov. 19 with free lunch, info for future alumni

Middle Tennessee State University is bringing “Senior Day”back to campus to salute graduating seniors and to share graduate school options and opportunities to stay connected to the Blue Raider community as an alumnus.

Organized by MTSU’s Office of 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. A free lunch will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with door prizes available.

MT alumni logo web“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 alumni relations.

The free event is targeting seniors graduating Dec. 14, 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.”

In addition to the development and alumni relations offices and graduate studies, campus organizations participating include the MTSU Financial Aid Office, Career Development Center, Young Alumni Group, Blue Raider Athletic Association, Blue Raider Ticket Office, Phillips Bookstore and the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center.

MTSU students Shandi Sigler, left, and Demarius Love try on caps and gowns to prepare for the Fall 2013 Senior Day advertising campaign. Both plan to attend the Nov. 19 event in the Student Union. (MTSU photo by Andy Heidt)

Organizers said students can learn about graduate programs, make an appointment with career services to review their resumes, find out what the MTSU Alumni Association has to offer and learn more about giving back to their alma mater.

Among the students planning to attend is senior Demarius Love, a criminal justice major set to graduate in May 2014. Like other students, Love has navigated personal twists and turns during his higher education career, changing his 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, 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,” he continued.

Dr. Sidney A. McPhee

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

The initiative targets 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, the president said.

“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.”

Senior Shandi Sigler, 22, will graduate in December 2014. Like Love, she plans to attend Senior Day and is strongly encouraging others to attend, too.

“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 hopes to 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.”

— Jimmy Hart (