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  • Writer's pictureRYAN RUANE

Torchlight Parade illuminates path for underclassmen

Senior Jenna Messina passing her torch down to junior Kaleigh Miller. Photo courtesy of Jenna Messina

The annual Torchlight Ceremony and Parade is one of Lasell’s long-standing traditions and its origin can be traced back to over 100 years ago. The parade happens at the end of every spring semester, signifying the end of a year’s worth of hard work and dedication. Both the ceremony and the parade will be held on April 29 where graduating seniors will pass their torches down to underclassmen.


Every senior has the opportunity to pass down their torch to someone. Thomas Morgan, from the Office of Student Activities and Orientation (OSAO), says that the passing of the torch “represents passing the flame of knowledge to the next generation of student leaders at Lasell.” Leaving the underclassmen to take on the roles and responsibilities that graduating seniors have left for them. 


There is much preparation that goes into planning the parade. Morgan has planned the event for Lasell since he became the Director of OSAO in 2021 and has dedicated his time to making sure that everything is ready for the ceremony.


“There are a lot of permit applications! I work with the City of Newton, the Newton Police Department, our own Campus Police, our Conference and Event Services office, [the] Information Technology office, and our Facilities and Sustainability Management office, to ensure that the parade route is safely closed off, the torches are available, and our Senior Class Committee can lead the passing of the torches by sharing a few words to their peers,” said Morgan.


Because the seniors pass down their torches to underclassmen, many seniors take the opportunity to ask the underclassmen to take their torches in a fun and meaningful way. Known as torch proposals, these elaborate acts by seniors make the passing of the torch memorable and make the recipient feel honored. Senior human resources management major, Jenna Messina, took a very creative approach to asking junior marketing major Kaleigh Miller to take her torch. 


“Well, I knew that I wanted to be original with it. One thing about Kaleigh is that she loves to puzzle, and she also loves Taylor Swift, and so do I. So, I decided to combine our interests and made a Taylor Swift puzzle that said “The TORCHured Poets Department” and then I wrote “take my torch” under it,” said Messina.


Miller was able to complete Messina’s puzzle pretty quickly, enjoying the fact that it mentioned Taylor Swift.


“It was very cute that she went out of her way to like, think of something original and something that represented our friendship,” said Miller. 


Since the Torchlight Ceremony began, Lasell faculty, students, alumni, and members of the Newton community have come out to watch the parade and cheer on students as they receive their torches. Seeing the community show support for a large piece of Lasell’s history is inspiring and highlights the importance of Lasell within the community.


“We are a part of such a small, tight-knit, and supportive community, and this parade is a representation of the bond that our community forms,” said Thomas Morgan.

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