Seniors prepare to launch into a new chapter


Courtesy of the Alumni Association

The Lion 4 Life Launch Party, hosted by the Alumni Association, will be held on Dec. 12. Graduating seniors can bring their friends and family to celebrate their transition from students to alumni.

The Lion 4 Life Launch Party is an event that celebrates the graduating seniors as their college careers come to an end.

The celebration will take place on Dec. 12 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Alumni Center, just two days before commencement. Jenni O’Neil, associate director of alumni programming, explained why the Alumni Association puts on the event every semester.

“The Lion 4 Life Launch Party is held to celebrate the students who are graduating each semester,” said O’Neil. “It’s the Alumni Association’s way of congratulating the soon-to-be grads on their accomplishments while also introducing them to our office. We want them to know that they are still part of the Lion family even after they graduate, and we’re here to help them with the transition from student to alumnus.”

O’Neil listed some of the things that attendees can look forward to at the launch party this semester.

“Graduates will receive their mini diploma, a gift from the Alumni Association and have a chance to win tons of prizes,” stated O’Neil. “There will also be yummy food truck options, a s’more station, music, games and a photo booth. As they leave the event, graduates will also get to take part in a new tradition of ringing the Victory Bell to ring in the new chapter of their lives.”

Michelle Biggs, executive director of alumni relations, named some of the new additions to the celebration this semester.

“We’ve added some games, and we have some contests,” said Biggs. “We’ve started doing a donut-eating contest, which is always a big hit. We always try to do something a little unique at each one. Since it’s the winter semester, we’re adding a s’mores bar. We have hot cocoa and beer. We’re always trying to look for more ways to improve it and make it more fun for the students.”

Over the past few years, several changes have been made to the event, including changing the name from Senior Send-Off to Lion 4 Life Launch. Biggs explained the motivation behind these changes.

“When I first came on board, the event was called Senior Send-Off,” said Biggs. “What I wanted to do when I came on board was to rebrand it. I didn’t feel like Senior Send-Off was an adequate name because it sounds like we’re just sending everybody off to never see them again. We wanted to sort of change the brand so that it was more of a celebration. That’s why we said Lion 4 Life Launch. We’re launching our students into the next phase of being a Lion for life, becoming an alumnus.”

In addition to the name change, the event has been extended to guests of the graduating seniors. 

“We’re trying to grow it into more of a block party feel, so we’ve also opened it up for guests to come as well,” said Biggs. “The graduating seniors are more than welcome to bring their family members, their friends, the more the merrier.”

The launch party also serves to help students connect with the Alumni Association.

“For many students, the Lion 4 Life Launch Party is the first time they have even heard about the Alumni Association or visited our office,” said O’Neil. “This event serves as an introduction to who we are, where we are and how we can help graduates stay connected after graduation.”

The rain location is the first floor of the parking garage. The event is free for graduating seniors and $10 for guests. To register, visit