When Saint Mary’s graduates think fondly of their undergrad years, what pops into their heads--the Chapel Lawn, a student group activity or an adventure abroad? Or is it a quiet corner of a patio, a dorm common room or a classroom? We asked the class of 2014, the largest graduating class in school history: What is your favorite Saint Mary’s College memory?

New Gael grads Mary Gulden and Justher Gutierrez.I got the chance to get involved with Asian Cultural Night. After all the dancing and celebrating, I was just so happy to be able to express this part of my culture with my best friend and all the new friends I made.

Justher Gutierrez, Communication, Valedictorian

Hiking up to the cross for the first time! I am not a very religious person but there is something about this cross that made me feel like I was where I belonged and I could always call this school home. Every time I would drive to the school my eyes would automatically look for the cross, whether it was in broad daylight or lit up at night.

- Jenna Aita, Psychology 

For two years I was a Weekend of Welcome leader. I got to show students around and it was just so rewarding to welcome new Gaels. It was so amazing - the energy and vivaciousness of being with other Weekend of Welcome leaders.

- Mary Gulden, Communication

There are so many memories. For me it was when I was on the club soccer team. We were on the most competitive level. I came in as a freshman and I got to start. We won the league and then made it all the way to the final.

- Daniel Almanza, Kinesiology

Gaelpalooza. Just the atmosphere and everyone being out and about.

- Luis Alegria, Communication

I have many fond memories of Saint Mary's, but one experience I'll never forget is Jan Term in Ireland. We spent time with locals in various counties around the country while they performed Irish songs and dances for us. Without Saint Mary's, I would've never had the travel opportunities I've been so blessed to take part in.

- Nicole Gomes, Accounting

My favorite memory is my Anthropology methods class. Everyone in the class was fun and easy to get along with, including the instructor. By the end of the semester I had gained many new friends. The class material was very interesting, but it was the group of people I was with that made it my favorite.

- Alexandra Phillips, Anthropology 

During my junior year I was lucky enough to take the Jan Term travel trip to South Africa. While the first part of the trip was amazing, during the second half we found ourselves in Kruger National Park, by Johannesburg stuck in its worst flood in 100 years. We were eventually forced to flee the camp due to the rising tides and crocodiles that were getting over the submerged fence. But while all of this horribleness happened, I remember running through the pouring rain across the flooding camp, laughing as my suitcase got drenched and laughing at the top of my lungs at the pure happiness of life and the experience that I was given. When I look back on it I definitely question a bit of my sanity but I would never trade that pure memory for anything in the world.

- Melissa Dahl, Environmental Science 

It would have to be all the midnight walks to the cross I did throughout my four years here. I would always remember when I met a new group of friends we would always break the ice by taking a walk up the hill to the cross. Since that is clearly the best view on campus, it was always a great reason to look over Lamorinda and enjoy the stars. Since freshman year, I have been up that hill several times and that view always takes my breath away.

- Olivia Call, Communication

My favorite memory has been all of my upper division physics classes. I got to spend the better part of my last two years learning some really difficult and interesting things with the same awesome people, both students and professors. I mean, it wasn't all glamorous. Lots of delirium and not much sleep, but when it finally makes sense, there's nothing better.

- Joe Murphy, Physics  

One of my favorite things about Saint Mary's has been the opportunity the Center for International Programs gave me to study abroad in both England and Italy. Since returning to campus I've really enjoyed becoming a peer mentor, sharing my experiences in Europe and helping other students explore their own opportunities to study abroad around the world!

- Katie Brandenburg, International Area Studies

My favorite Saint Mary's memory is the friends I had made in the High Potential Summer Bridge Program. Learning how to prepare myself for college with the support from the High Potential Program during Summer Bridge will be something I will never forget. Participating in the Cultural Night Lu'au for two years was another great memory. I made great friends along the way and felt welcomed by a cultural group that was different from mine. Also, working with the Office of College Communications was by far one of my favorites memories here at Saint Mary’s. The job influenced me in switching my major to communications.

- Christina Soza, Communication

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