Seniors start thinking about their tomorrow

Senior-year students across all majors came together one last time before graduation.


Mawil Mateo

Seniors at the polaroid photo stand. Photo taken by Mawil Mateo, April 18.

A warm, sunny day with live music, free food, games, prizes — and burying student’s items which will be underground for 50 years — was all part of the Senior Send Off, an event that’s hosted by the Chico State Alumni Association to congratulate graduating seniors.

Seniors with beaming smiles could be seen walking out of the Bell Memorial Union with their caps and gowns in hand amidst the smell of fresh hot dogs.

Students waiting in line and winning prizes. Photo taken by Mawil Mateo, April 18.

“Chico State gave me a lot of connections, I made new friends, and networks. This event is really nice, my favorite part is seeing all the people I met my freshman year and seeing them again excited about graduation just like I am,” senior Brianna Rolon said.  

There was free food given to all students: hot dogs, chocolate chip cookies, cotton candy and a variety of sodas to choose from.

Students getting food from one of the stands. Photo taken by Mawil Mateo, April 18.

“We have been planning this event for a while. It’s a great opportunity to give back to our students. I’m sad that they’re leaving but happy for their accomplishments,” catering assistant Riley Sandahl said. 

Famous Chico State mascot Willie the Wildcat was also at the event spreading hugs, taking pictures and having fun with seniors.

Willie the Wildcat walking around campus taking pictures. Photo taken by Mawil Mateo, April 18.

The time capsule ceremony, an annual event and Chico State tradition that started many years ago, was discontinued in 1969 but rekindled in the year 2000 with the assistance of Associated Students and the Alumni Association. This tradition was performed at the end of Senior Send Off.

The Alumni Association collects students’ belongings and places them in a safe that gets locked and buried underground. After 50 years that safe is unburied to see what people were into 50 years prior. 

“We started planning a time capsule in January and were collecting items up until April 12. I think this is a great way for us to connect the now with the future,” events student intern for the alumni and parent engagement Shannon Petersen said.

The 2022-2023 capsule before getting buried. Photo taken by Mawil Mateo, April 18.

Some items buried this year include slang words such as girlboss and slay, printed BeReals and The Orion’s women’s month print edition.

Upper Park, a local store that had a table and was selling gear at the event, had staff members filled with joy to see the many exciting faces around campus. 

“We are a clothing company devoted to Upper Park apparel, we were very successful selling all Chico related items. The event brought great business to us and informed everyone about our company,” store manager and Chico State graduate student Emma Lopez said. 

All in all, students shared bittersweet emotions around Kendall Hall.