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FGCU’s Inaugural Grad Fest

Jakira Bryan

The time is coming soon for many seniors, including me, to graduate from FGCU. In what will now happen in less than one month, we will be saying our last goodbyes as we graduate, receive our diplomas and advance into the future world ahead of us. 

This semester, something new for seniors happened. On Thursday, April 11, FGCU’s Alumni Relations and Student Success and Enrollment Management hosted the inaugural Grad Fest at the Nest. The event was from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Cohen Student Union Ballroom.

An advertised flier showcased the features of this event, including a DJ, cap decorating and dinner with a celebratory toast. Students also connected with Career and Internship experts, employers and the graduate school admissions team for what can happen after graduation.

From previous emails I have read about constant graduation reminders, the first notice I saw about this event was back in February, two months before the event occurred. This was also sent out in the same email from Pamela McCabe, the University Communications and Media Relations Director, with a lot of information about registering for commencement and claiming guest tickets.

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It feels special to me that the semester I will be graduating in, FGCU introduced a new special event for me and the rest of the seniors who have worked hard these past few years to earn this moment.

In a way, this feels like experiencing prom and senior week from high school again for me. At my high school and many others in Florida, seniors are honored with “senior week,” a festive week themed with dress-up days and other events. It ends with Grad Bash, an all-night trip to Universal Orlando Resort with students leaving in the afternoon and returning early the next morning. My high school’s prom is also held usually the week before or after the grad bash trip as well.

For FGCU seniors, Grad Fest also coincides with the Programming Board’s annual Eagle Fest, which happened the next day on Friday, Apr. 12. I was very excited about both events as they gave me some more opportunities to make lasting memories with some of my close friends here at FGCU. 

The week of April 8-12 really felt like a celebratory week for seniors with two major events to look forward to as the final countdown to commencement begins.

This time period between now and commencement will be bittersweet for me as I am optimistic about what the future holds but will miss the many fun times I have had over the past few years.

I also hope to find out about more senior events in future years as Grad Fest also feels like a new experiment being put together. FGCU could maybe look to see what high schools are doing to honor their seniors before they walk. However, there would need to be events that can be held in both the Fall and Spring semesters.

In future semesters, I think the Grad Fest can be expanded by having more fun events for seniors like maybe a senior carnival on FGCU’s Library Lawn. Regardless, I enjoyed the event and I hope it will be the start of more events dedicated to seniors.

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About the Contributor
Jakira Bryan
Jakira Bryan, ENTV Director
Jakira Bryan is a senior double majoring in legal studies and journalism. She is very involved on campus volunteering with organizations such as the Programming Board helping them put on events around campus. This is Jakira’s fourth and final year with Eagle Media, and more specifically with ENTV, this is her second year with a director title. She is certified in almost all the Adobe suites. While still managing to handle all that is on her plate, Jakira is interning with University Marketing and Communications as their student videographer. Jakira has an extreme love for music as well as all things creative and upon graduating from FGCU, Jakira plans to attend law school while never losing her communications touch while still pursuing photography/videography. Jakira is beyond excited to see what this year will hold and hopes to welcome new students to come find their love or passion within ENTV and Eagle Media!

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