Liberty Seniors Reminisce At A Farewell Convocation

At a special senior convocation on Wednesday April 26, the lights in the School of Music Concert hall dimmed over a crowd of graduating Liberty seniors, ready to celebrate the past four years and look ahead. 

The convocation was put together by the Office of Spiritual Development and a group of graduating Liberty students working with the Student Government Association. 

Worship collective alumni – familiar faces for the graduating seniors from their first few years at Liberty – led attendees through a set of songs that signified each year. The planning committee selected songs to reflect memories from each of the four years seniors have walked through. The song “Victory” brought back memories from the senior’s freshman year, and “Tremble” commemorated sophomore year.

In a video played before “Waymaker”, the song that represented the junior year. Senior Zach Bowsher emphasizes the special meaning the song held walking through the difficult and uncertain season that came with COVID-19 and the end of the 2019 to 2020 school year. 

The final song was an extremely poignant moment for many attendees, as the former collective members led the class through Kari Jobe’s “The Blessing”. The song – a benediction – represented the class’s final year at Liberty and a call to action moving forward. 

Graduating senior Colleen Lacey, a strategic communications major, said that she loved the chance to gather with her friends and classmates to reminisce on the past four years, and the time of worship was particularly meaningful for her.

“Seeing the old collective members that were flown in and singing old songs that represented each year was super special and super nostalgic,” Lacey said. “I think that really captured and reminded me how special and directed by God my time here at Liberty was.” 

The convocation offered seniors a time to reminisce on the past few years, at one point through a panel discussion on some of the most notable memories. This year’s Student Body President and Vice President Constance Schneider and Joel Thomas led the panel along with SGA executive office members Noah Haneman and Kayla Caioli. 

Haneman said that the experience to reflect onstage and encourage his peers was surreal and an unexpected blessing. 

“Throughout my time at Liberty I’ve been encouraged, motivated and pointed back to Christ so many times by speakers on that stage. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would have the opportunity to step on the (convocation) stage and try to do the same,” Haneman said. 

They walked through the graduating class’s time at Liberty starting with freshman year, mentioning the monumental win against Baylor. They reflected on the effect of COVID-19 on their junior year, and how it felt to come back together after those unexpected months apart. 

Hanemen said that one of the most special moments of the past four years was the first Campus Community in Williams Stadium last fall and seeing all of his peers come together in worship after a hard few months. 

Campus Pastor David Nasser gave a charge to seniors moving forward, and his wife Jennifer Nasser prayed over the class. Nasser then went on to lead a discussion with speaker Abigail Reichard, a Liberty alumna who spoke on mental health in times of trial and how to effectively use them to further the kingdom. 

Attending seniors expressed how special it was to be together and reflect on the past few years. 

“(The morning) provided such a beautiful piece of closure, and I am grateful to have experienced it with some of my closest friends,” Haneman said.

Kayleigh Hamer is the graduating A Section Copy Editor. Follow her on LinkedIn at @KayleighMorganHamer.

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