The evening was full of memories when the College of Saint Elizabeth Class of 2013 gathered on February 7, 2013, for 100’s Night, the traditional countdown toward graduation. CSE students slated for graduation remembered how they were as freshmen and compared that to who they are today. Nicole Rizzuto, a history major, sat at the dinner table in Rose Dining Hall with the same friends with whom she started her journey and looked back over the years. She observed, “They talk about closing one chapter and starting another, but CSE was kind of its own book, because there was too much to fit into one chapter. Our time here was one of the best love stories of our lives. I feel it’s not the next chapter, but a sequel.”
Spending time just looking back on the memories created at CSE seemed to be a wonderful feeling for these classmates. Included in those memories were lifelong lessons learned. Sociology major Deanna Thomas, says, “The most important lesson I’ve learned is the value of friendship,” as she stood next to her best friend Kimberly De Jesus, a chemistry major, and hugged her. Friendship bonds were formed not only with students but with staff members as well. CSE senior Jovita Sanchez, an elementary education major, expressed that this evening as she talked to Fatimah Fischer, secretary in the Education Opportunity Fund department, “CSE has taught me to stay close to advisors and professors. I didn’t really know how much help my advisor and professors could give me until I got very close to my advisor who was always there for me.”
In her four years here, Claushell Achille, a psychology major and president of the Psychology Club, embraced the College’s emphasis on being a leader. She says, “CSE taught me to be a great leader and how to be independent. CSE taught me to be motivated especially toward new students who are looking for an outlet. I always encouraged them to be involved and to be a member or a leader in our community.”
Perhaps elementary education major Dena Toledo summed up everyone’s feelings best when she said, “I built a family here. I grew connections to people not only in the College, but all over, outside the College walls. By the College bringing us together, it made us grow not only as a family, but as individuals. We came in as babies and are leaving as beautiful, mature women.”
The evening ended late in the night with dancing shared with the rest of the student body as the Class of 2013 prepared to pass the baton to those who followed.