During her three years at Stephens College, Morgan McLaurian has not missed a single annual bridge crossing, yet.
On Thursday, McLaurian, a junior in child development, stood in the spring evening air to congratulate this year’s graduating class at Crossing the Bridge, an event for students with little time left at college.
At the event, held about one month before commencement, Stephens seniors walk from Firestone Baars, the campus chapel, across the bridges above College Avenue and Broadway. Traditionally, well-wishers flank the walkways and cheer.
“I wanted to see my friends before they graduate, as they move on,” McLaurian said.
She suddenly became quiet as a group mostly of women approached the crowd, walking toward a banner proclaiming “Welcome Stephens Alumnae” — a sign directed at alumni visiting for a reunion this past weekend and the seniors themselves.
Scattered applause rose from the crowd, which was quickly replaced with a hearty cheer as the seniors drew near. Then the students, both past and present, sang the Stephens Hymn, the official song of the college.
Under the Stamper Commons awning, some seniors mingled with alumni, faculty and staff. Others chose to continue the walk across the Broadway bridge — bound for Historic Senior Hall, where a celebration awaited them.
One of the students on her way to the gathering was Caprice Foster, who will graduate in May. In contrast to the gray, overcast sky, Foster was dressed in a sunny yellow trench coat, jeans and flip-flops, with a pair of heart-shaped, magenta sunglasses tucked into the neck of her button-down jacket.
Foster, a fashion and marketing major, reflected on her plans. “I’d like to go to graduate school at Webster University to get my MBA,” she said. “I cannot wait to graduate.”
Inside Historic Senior Hall, the party was under way. Noni D’Amato and Maleva Chamberlain, class of 1955, were among the Stephens alumni in attendance at the bridge crossing. “We didn’t have a ‘Crossing the Bridge’ event when we graduated because there wasn’t a bridge to cross,” D’Amato said.
With a wink, she said, “We used the crosswalk and traffic light instead.”