Some FGCU seniors, who are set to graduate on Saturday, Dec. 12, gathered in the Cohen Center Ballroom on Tuesday, Dec. 8 to decorate their caps, meet new people and bond over their time here at FGCU.
The event, which was held by the Student Alumni Association, included free pizza and cookies for attendees, popular music playing and a slideshow of pictures of various decorated grad caps for inspiration.
“We looked at other student alumni associations from different schools and got ideas from them,” said Chelsea Pietrzak, the SAA president. “We promoted it through social media.”
Pietrzak explained the numerous benefits of becoming a member of the association.
“Alumni hire alumni, so we stay close with our seniors,” she said.
For Lorena Aguirre, a senior resort and hospitality management major, graduation is going to be all about spending time with her loved ones.
“After, we’re just going to lunch, and then, after that, we’re just going to stay at a hotel and hang with family and friends,” Aguirre said.
Aguirre was a transfer student from Florida SouthWestern State College and was somewhat nervous about the transition.
“At first, it was kind of hard because I didn’t know anybody,” Aguirre said. “But, I feel in love with the hospitality program, and it ended up being a really nice experience.”
Aguirre has a job at the local Hyatt Place Fort Myers hotel, the same place she served as an intern at during her tenure at FGCU.
For Delta Delta Delta chapter president and graduating senior Grayal Allen, preparation for the big day includes relaxation, attending the upcoming Grad Bash event and after the ceremony, going out to dinner with family.
“I’m just excited,” Allen said. “I’m not nervous at all. Currently, I’m saving up money for grad school, so I can move wherever I want in May.”
Allen stated the most important thing she learned while studying at FGCU was how to be independent.
Aguirre credits the hospitality program for getting her to where she is today.
“I feel like if I hadn’t done my internship,” Aguirre said. “I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am now. It’s been awesome, and I love this school. I can’t wait to be done, but I’m sad to leave.”
The Student Alumni Association is hosting Grad Bash at Bar Louie located in Gulf Coast Town Center on Thursday, Dec. 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. Attending graduates are encouraged to bring their families and friends to celebrate with, and attendees will also receive a free Class of 2015 souvenir cup.