Interviewing 13 of her graduating friends proved entertaining for Erin Keogh, an international business and Spanish major from Williston, N.D. Her best memory was “studying abroad for a semester in Spain and a volunteer January-Term VISION trip to Ecuador.” The worst, she admits honestly, was “arriving freshman year, being far away from home and not knowing anyone!”

When times were good, they were very good. One of Courtney Sebo’s best memories of St. Thomas is “having dinner at my English professor’s house with my nine classmates – and enjoying an intellectual conversation, lots of laughter and great company.”

Sebo, an English major from Rochester with minors in French and philosophy, also took a unique look at her worst memory of St. Thomas: “Realizing I’m graduating and will be forced to start my life all over again, and realizing how great experiences have been here at St. Thomas, and kicking myself for every moment I’ve ever wished class would finish early or the weekend would come sooner or that finals would just be over with.”

Among the worst memories of other seniors were 8 a.m. classes. “Accounting class Tuesday and Thursday had mandatory attendance,” lamented Justin Kroeger, an economics and finance major from Glencoe.

“I swear my English 190 teacher intentionally tried to scare us,” recalled Rebecca Dahlstron, a business communications major from Cottage Grove. “After my first day of class freshman year I pretty much ran back to my room and did homework for the rest of the afternoon.” The worst for John Tiedman, a financial management major from Omaha, Neb., was, succinctly, “calculus my freshman year.”

“Breaking my ankle freshman year and having to hobble around campus on crutches forever” was Michelle Miller’s worst memory. Miller was a business communications major from Winona.

“Studying for finals every semester,” especially 8 a.m. finals and parking were presented as equally bad memories, but no one can top Nicole Wallin’s worst: “Showing up for my Business Law final a day late,” recalled Wallin, a marketing major from Wayzata.

Political correctness was the hallmark of Aaron Wills’ response. “Well, many worst ones to choose from in some ways but I will give a politically correct answer and say … Actually, I will say ‘none’ because they are all experiences in life and make you who you are,” said the Sauk Centre geography major, who plans to go to graduate school.

Like many others, Wills’ best memory was of studying abroad – Prague in his case. Kay Krebsbach, a psychology major from St. Paul Park studied in London; she plans to teach and go to graduate school.

Others mentioned volunteering as a best memory. “VISION trips to Boston and to El Paso/Juarez” were highlights for Dahlstrom. Wallin spent spring break 2002 at the Ft. Belknap Indian Reservation.

Personal best memories included “getting accepted to medical school” for Seth Consoer, a biochemistry major from North Mankato.

College events like spring flings, concerts, homecoming and spring breaks were mentioned often, but making great friends meant a lot. One of the best memories for Andrew Pearson, a biology major from Prior Lake, was “the good times with the Alpine Ski Racing Team.”

“The best were the nights when I would sit up until 4 a.m. talking and hanging out with people for no good reason,” Tiedman recalled.

Dahlstrom enjoyed, with friends, “the snowball fight we had in the quad freshman year, and bringing our blankets out onto the football field to have a midnight talk session.”

About a third of this group plan to be teachers, a third plan on graduate school and a third plan to find a job. And all, as Sebo mentioned, are “starting their lives all over again.” We wish them well.

For the complete text and audio of major speeches at St. Thomas, go to Web site: http://www.stthomas.edu/bulletin/speeches.cfm