grad 2020
Seniors Celebrate Graduation

Alex Baker

As the academic year draws to an end, many seniors are ready to celebrate despite the pandemic. However, parties cannot be as filled with family and friends because of how serious the virus has been spreading.

Students I spoke with are not going to hold virtual celebrations; they would rather celebrate in person and wait out this pandemic. These senior Spartans would have thoroughly enjoyed ending their last semester with their Manchester friends because they do not know when they are going to see each other next, but many of them are going to make the most out of an odd situation.

Nash Walker, senior accounting and finance double major was looking forward to ending the school year with his friends as part of his celebration. “I decided to stay at school because the people I went to spring break with also choose to stay in North Manchester,” Walker said. “May day weekend is one of the most fun times on campus, and that would have been the ultimate send-off.”

May day weekend occurs during the first weekend in the month of May, and events such as air-band, trike races, and mud volleyball are amongst the most participated in.

Walker plans to return home to West Lafayette once his lease is up at his North Manchester home. “My parents have done everything they could’ve to get me to where I am today, so I am very excited celebrate such a large achievement with them,” Walker said. “The party will consist of close relatives as there is a pandemic happening.”

Jared Wondergem, senior accounting and finance double major was given a graduation party by his loved ones. “My close friends from home visited for a couple of days this past week and my family threw me a small celebration,” Wondergem said. “It was a pleasant surprise that I appreciated greatly.”

Wondergem noted that the best part of the party was not the food, friends, or family, it was that he suited up as if he were going to walk across the stage at commencement. “Although it did not fit the best, I put on my dad’s old cap and gown,” Wondergem said. “I know we are going to get the opportunity to walk in October, but this was an emotional moment for me.”

Anna-Marie Lawrie, senior sales and business management double major is ready to celebrate at her now home in Indianapolis with her family. “My family has moved houses recently which was very sad for me, but we have a pool at the new house, and we plan on coordinating a pool party to celebrate my graduation,” Lawrie said. “Two of my favorite things are my family and enjoying a pool day, so it will be a great day once we decide further details.”

Brandon Renninger, senior accounting and finance double major had one of the best moments of his life so far despite COVID-19. Renninger recently proposed to his girlfriend, and cannot wait to start his next chapter in his life with her. “My plans to propose to her were postponed because of the virus,” Renninger said. “This was frustrating to adjust to, but it was still one of the best moments of my life.”

Renninger ended his Manchester academic year collecting the best accounting student award from the College of Business Club, which was timely as he started his job at accounting firm Baden Gage and Schroeder on May 26.

“My parents have been super busy with their own work, and I have been preparing to start my career so there has been no time to plan for a party,” Renninger said. “I am sure something will happen eventually, but for now I am just super excited to start doing what I love.”