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A Tradition Begins

December Soiree/Convocation Have Roots in College’s 75th Anniversary Celebration

To close out a year of celebrating the College's 75th anniversary in 1986, a special convocation was held Dec. 12 in Alumni Lounge in Marshall Hall.

The planning notes for the 75th anniversary celebration included this bit of information: "Since the number of December graduates are growing rapidly, this may well develop into a yearly convocation." Preparing for that 1986 convocation are, from left in the bottom photo, Betsy Elkins, director of college libraries; Dr. James Heffernan, vice president for student affairs and educational services; and Dr. William Tully, provost.

Later that evening, the Senior Soiree, a semiformal dinner-dance, was held in the lounge giving the December grads time to celebrate their years at ESF.

Twenty-five years later, December Convocation is a major campus event with students, faculty, staff and families gathering in Hendricks Chapel. Graduates' achievements are recognized and the Alumni Association presents the Alumni of Distinction and Lifetime Alumni Achievement awarda.

The entire campus community is invited to what is now called the December Soiree. The semiformal dinner-dance is held at Drumlins the same weekens as December Convocation and is sponsored by the student government and hosted by a team of student managers. Three president's awards for community service are presented during the evening: one to an individual student, one to a student group, and one to an individual faculty/staff member.