An Open Letter to the Class of 2017


Dear Class of 2017,


Thank you for making “The Lawrence Difference” the Lawrence Difference. You survived challenging classes, all-nighters and plagues of river bugs. You made the campus a better place with your intellectual curiosity and passion to volunteer and engage with the campus community. You will truly be missed…until you decide to come back for alumni weekend! The seniors who shared their memories of Lawrence with The Lawrentian agree that they would pick this school all over again, and thank their professors, peers and friends for all of their support.

Senior Torrey Smith is a French and Francophone Studies Major. Smith has been at Lawrence since freshman year and attributes her success to her 24/7 friendships and support from her professors. Her best memories are when she studied abroad in Dakar, Senegal in West Africa. The experience opened her eyes to a whole different culture.

Although Smith knew what she wanted to major in at the beginning of her freshman year, her advice to herself as a freshman is, “Don’t worry about not knowing what to do because you’ll figure it out.” After graduation, Torrey plans to return to Indianapolis, Indiana to work at home, then to travel to Jersey City to work for non-profits or cultural centers, particularly in arts and music. She wants to be remembered as the person who listened to and supported her fellow classmates.

Senior Suzanne Hones is a Linguistics and French and Francophone Studies major. When asked what she will miss the most, Hones replied, “Easy: TriVR (among other things). I committed myself to TriVR more than any other extracurricular, which I am okay with.” When asked about her post-graduation plans, Hones responded, “I am still looking for a summer job, but I’ll be moving to France in October to work as an English teaching assistant for about 7 months. I’m very excited!”

Hones has had many memorable moments, but playing the Great Midwest Trivia Contest since her freshman year was the most fun in her opinion. “Also, I loved when they played The Room for April Fool’s Day last year,” added Hones. “If I could give my freshman self advice, it would be, ‘Don’t take computer science! Biggest hit to my GPA I’ve taken,’” said Hones.

Tammy Li is a Piano Performance major with a minor in German Studies. She attended Lawrence for four years as an international student from China. Li was an exchange student in high school, then decided to apply for college in the United States. Her favorite memory was her senior recital. Li went to Berlin, Germany in December term. She wants to be remembered as a musician and dancer. She was involved in the Lawrence International Cabaret for all four years of her college career and enjoyed performing in the show because it allowed her to explore her culture in a new way.

“I care about it in how people would perceive us not knowing our culture,” Li commented. “I think I would have a hard time imagining what it would be like being an international student at another school.” Her advice to herself as a freshman is, “Learn to say no and evaluate what you have on your plate.”

Jessica Hoyer is a Linguistics major. She came to Lawrence as a junior transfer student, and has been excited to be part of the Lawrence community as it was her first-choice school. “The most difficult part of being a transfer student is that they constantly mistake my year, but the support of other transfer students and The Lawrence Connection (TLC) helps,” said Hoyer. She enjoyed the President’s Ball and performing in Rocky Horror her junior year. She wants to be remembered as a kind, helpful person.

“I don’t have any regrets being a freshman, but I wish I came to Lawrence sooner,” commented Hoyer. After graduation, she is thinking of finding a job or internship in publishing. According to Hoyer, “The Lawrence Difference” is calling campus security whenever there is a swarm of bugs.

The Lawrentian would like to congratulate all of the graduating seniors on completing their journey at Lawrence. From the stressful, to the embarrassing, to the very silly, we hope all of the memories you made at Lawrence University stay with you as you begin the next chapter of your life. Wherever you go, and whatever you do, always remember that you are, and always will be, a Lawrentian.