Campus & Culture

2021 Graduation Bucket List: 11 To-Do’s Before You Leave Hawk Hill

by Emmalee Eckstein

It’s almost time for you to pack up your things and head out into the world, Class of 2021! But before you go forth to set it on fire, take the time to enjoy some Hawk Hill essentials. And remember: you’re always welcome back.

1. Wolf down your last Hawk Wrap.

hawk wrap campion dining

Believe it or not, this could be the last time you devour one of Campion’s famously delicious Hawk Wraps! Why not go out with a bang? Make your order a double!


2. Stock up on SJU Gear.

sju hawk merchandise

The bookstore is bursting with different ways for Hawks to show the world where they come from. Make a point of displaying your alumni pride with hats, sweatshirts, masks and other accessories that show off your time on Hawk Hill!


3. Decorate Your Grad Cap.

graduation cap mortar board commencement sju

Stand out from the crowd at Commencement by adding unique artwork and messaging to your graduation cap! Then, share your design on social media using #SJUClassOf2021 for a chance to be featured on SJU’s social media.


4. Snap the classic SJU Selfies.

selfie SJU st. joseph merion campus

Get some final snaps of yourself in all of the most important spots on Hawk Hill — Barbelin, the McShain bridge, the Barnes Arboretum and Lapsley Lane are just a few of the most iconic spots for you to selfie on campus. Check out the campus map for more ideas on where to shoot!


5. Get in on Senior Week activities!

hawkapalooza senior week

Join the Office of Student Life for these fun, festive senior activities and events where you can start to unwind and kick off your graduation celebrations!


6. Make Your Senior Gift.

graduation caps commencement sju merion

The 2021 Senior Class Committee will be collecting donations for the University’s Student In Need Fund, which helps to support Hawks who have recently experienced financial shortfalls and require financial assistance in the purchase of laptops, textbooks and other school supplies. To sweeten the deal, any senior who makes a gift of $20.21 or more will receive a Hawk mug or water bottle. If you have any questions about the Senior Class Gift, reach out to the committee co-chairs, Alexa Pollice ’21 and Kella Pacifico ’21, or make your gift today!


7. Tune In to a virtual senior showcase.

piano recital music sju

This year’s graduating class will be showcasing the culmination of their learning with virtual performances highlighting their talents. These showcases are open to the entire University community in the weeks leading up to Commencement, so log on to see your fellow Hawks in action! Check the University calendar for more details on these upcoming events.


8. Join the Alumni Association.

alumni hands clinking beer mugs

You never really leave St. Joe’s because Hawk Hill is a state of mind! Whether Commencement has you moving out of town or staying local, there are a variety of ways to stay connected: 


9. Sign your senior class book.

graduates fixing grad caps

Before Commencement, make sure you take a few moments to reflect and share memories with your fellow Hawks from the Class of 2021 in the Senior Class Book. After graduating, the Class of 2021 will be able to continue to use this private platform to stay in touch and update each other on what is going on in their lives.


10. Stay safe!

students in class with masks on

Let’s be honest — your time on Hawk Hill certainly isn’t ending the way it began. And that surely applies to Commencement. In an effort to make this year’s graduation ceremonies as normal as possible, while continuing to keep our campus community as safe as possible, we must do our best to maintain a safe distance from others and mask up wherever we go in the days and weeks ahead of graduation.


11. Say THANK YOU.

hands exchanging a diploma on a commencement stage

Leave Hawk Hill with an attitude of gratitude! Reach out to your professors and mentors on campus to let them know how they have positively impacted your experience at SJU and your professional aspirations. A kind note works wonders in ensuring you stay in touch with those who made a difference in your life.