It's a beautiful day in early May, and commencement is right around the corner.
Busloads of seniors are waiting outside Weber Chapel, ready to hike up nearby Mt. Mahanoy with President Jonathan D. Green.
The hike is a longstanding tradition—dating back to the 19th century—that retired-President Lemons revived 15 years ago.
The trail up Mt. Mahanoy is relatively short but steep. In less than an hour, hikers climb 1,400 feet up a dirt trail. On the best of days, it's a difficult walk.
On the mountaintop, the seniors look down on the river valley as Associate Professor Jennifer Elick describes how the land was carved by glaciers and the flow of the Susquehanna River. It's probably the last lecture they'll hear from a Susquehanna professor.
There's time for photos together and with President Green, who gives a speech and leads everyone in the alma mater.
Then it's back down the mountain to the buses waiting to take the seniors back to campus, where, in just a few days, they'll walk across the stage to receive their diplomas.
Soon-to-be graduates get to showcase their academic achievements via research poster and oral presentations, art displays and music recitals.
The most significant occasion in the life of Susquehanna, when everyone comes together with pomp and circumstance to celebrate the academic success of our graduates.
Our campus welcomes back throngs of alumni as they reunite and return home for a fall party weekend. Athletic contests, class reunions, special interest gatherings, awards banquets and a parade highlight a jam-packed schedule.