Capstone Day to Celebrate Senior Theses

The Mary Wig Johnson Senior Forum—a forum for seniors from different academic departments to showcase their theses—has been given a facelift. Now called Capstone Day, the event will take place on May 6, 2009, the last day of classes. In the past, the Forum was held the Friday before finals week, meaning department heads had to select thesis presenters before the thesis due date. However, said Chair of the Capstone Day Organizing Committee, Professor Thierry Boucquey, "we wanted a better way for the whole Scripps community to be able to celebrate our seniors. The Senior Forum remains the centerpiece of Capstone Day and will be integrated into a social event to celebrate seniors and their academic accomplishments." Boucquey explains that the Senior Forum will be the academic core and "pièce de résistance" of Capstone Day. After all, the whole event is meant to celebrate all the hard work that the seniors have accomplished in their time at Scripps.With the implementation of Capstone Day, seniors will have their own day to be celebrated. It begins with presentations of top-notch theses by seniors selected by their departments. Much like Convocation, everyone will gather on Elm Tree Lawn for a delicious social lunch organized for the entire Scripps community. More presentations in the afternoon will take place, followed by a Scripps Tea with the theme of "Celebrate Seniors." The day will end with a friendly faculty and staff-senior soccer game and a student-organized talent show in the evening. "Capstone Day has been created to allow other students to better see models of the caliber of work they can look forward to as seniors at Scripps," states Boucquey. All professors are encouraged to bring their students to the presentations so that everyone can celebrate the seniors. Committee member Professor Roswitha Burwick agreed. "I see the day as an opportunity for a common intellectual experience in which students and faculty participate. Since the thesis is understood as the culminating final achievement in a Scripps education, it is important that we give our seniors the forum to present their work to the Scripps and Claremont communities." w Dean of Students Debra Wood agreed and gave another perspective: "Underclass students will benefit not only intellectually from being exposed to high quality theses but also socially as they interact with each other, faculty and staff throughout the day in a unique mixture of curricular and co-curricular only found on a residential campus. Students who are undecided about their majors will be exposed to serious academic work that may help them discover more about their interests, while juniors may even find inspiration for their own theses!" Capstone Day is not entirely unique to Scripps. Other colleges hold similar events commemorating seniors' work, but Scripps is taking a unique approach by integrating the academic aspect with social events like the community luncheon, soccer game and talent show. And what better way to celebrate what Scripps women have researched, developed, studied and wrote?