Thesis Draft-Burning Party Marks Latest Milestone for Class of 2022

When describing the Senior Thesis project that is the culmination of Trivium 402, the College’s catalog says that “each student researches and writes a senior thesis on a significant topic of his or her own choice. The thesis and the oration are expected to show the characteristic signs of leisurely study: depth and breadth of relevant knowledge, careful and nuanced consideration of ideas, argumentative rigor, confident organization, and a rhetorically effective style.”

On the evening of Saturday, December 4th, the first part of that daunting project came to an end for this year’s seniors, with the submission of their final thesis drafts. The actual submission is a bit less romantic than it might have been several decades ago, as each of the students passes a flash drive bearing an electronic version of their completed thesis over to Jennifer Westman, the College’s registrar. But there are pages and pages of drafts that have been produced throughout the creative process, and those pages are put to good use each year, creating a bonfire that serves as a cozy backdrop for an evening of festivities. This year’s event was as celebratory and boisterous as ever, punctuated by the annual Light Up Lander Parade.

While there is certainly much hard work yet to be done for these seniors as they prepare for their orations, the completion of the writing of their thesis is a dramatic moment for them all, and one to be celebrated. “Completing the writing of this thesis, whether they consciously reflect upon it or not,” said President Glenn Arbery, “is a dramatic step these seniors are taking towards their post-WCC lives. Please say a prayer for them that the joy of achievement will give us all cause for heartfelt celebration and hope.”

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