Student Stories

Seniors Celebrate Graduation in Style at the Adler Planetarium

Over 350 fourth-years filled the Adler Planetarium last month to kick off this spring’s graduation celebrations.

With only one hundred days left until their graduation date, students enjoyed an exclusive evening under the stars at the Adler Planetarium. They dined on catered food and drinks, took photos with Dean Boyer, spent time with their classmates, and, with the skyline in the distance, they danced under the dome of the planetarium. In true UChicago fashion, the museum was made open to the students, who could learn about the craters on Jupiter while toasting to their upcoming accomplishments.

Andrew Nicotra-Reilly, co-events chair for Senior Class Gift, remarked on the success of the Adler event. “It was an awe-inspiring event to see so many of our classmates together. Collectively, it was beautiful,” he said.  

The night was planned in part by the Senior Class Gift committee. It was deemed a success, and the fund saw substantial gains.

A student-led initiative, the Senior Class Gift is dedicated to supporting UChicago’s commitment to excellence in education and student life. The gift goes to four major funds at the University: the Odyssey Scholarships; the Dean's Fund for Student Life; the College Fund, and the Jeff Metcalf Internship Program.

The Odyssey Scholarship program provides enhanced support to ensure all students are able to attend college, regardless of their financial circumstances. The Dean’s Fund offers students in the College opportunities to advance their chosen academic and professional goals, as these undertakings serve as an important source of innovation and learning for our campus culture. The College Fund supports essential University services and resources, such as financial aid, study abroad programs, and internships, while the Jeff Metcalf Internship Program provides paid, substantive internships exclusively to UChicago undergraduates during the summer and the academic year.

It is rare to find a student on campus who doesn’t know somebody, or hasn’t themself benefited from the funds raised by the Senior Class Gift.

Aside from sending their donation to the four major funds, students are alternatively able to specify where in the University they would like their gift to be sent: whether it be a registered student organization or a sports team in which they participated.

Seniors have set a lofty goal this year: 1,000 individual donations to Senior Class Gift. They are well on their way to meeting this goal.

Lauren Smith, the Chair of Senior Class Gift, is ready for the challenge: “Adler was a great way to start off a spring quarter full of senior programming, and we are excited to hit our participation goal for Senior Class Gift in the coming months.”

The next graduation event will be the Spring Celebration on April 19 at the Underground. Seniors who have donated at least one dollar to Senior Class Gift are invited to attend. Seniors can donate here.