Torch Night Burns Bright at Siena Heights




The high school I attended had so many different traditions. Every grade had their own, so every grade had a ceremony and something to look forward to.

The freshmen had being inducted into the school. The sophomores had Sophomore Day, where they received class colors and other signifiers. Juniors had Junior Ring Ceremony, where they would receive their class rings. And seniors had countless different events.

With that being said, every event my high school had made us the high school we were. We were deep-rooted in tradition and a sisterhood that went back many years of sisters who took part in the same events we did. Also these traditions had meanings to them.

My favorite ceremony of my high school career was my Senior Farewell. It was a day that we got to dance around in front of the entire school, put on skits, and just have fun one last time. But the meaning behind it was that we were saying good-bye to the school, and it was saying good-bye to us.

Here at Siena, we have our own tradition for graduating seniors called Torch Night. This ceremony is where a senior picks an underclassmen to be their Torch. The senior gives the under the torch, signifying that the senior is passing their flame at Siena to someone who can carry on that flame. And the underclassmen gives the senior a rose, the Dominican symbol of friendship.

Sandy Walsh, a senior, will participate in this upcoming ceremony for the third time. This final time, she will be passing the torch rather than receiving one.

“Bree Edge picked me my freshmen year, and then last year Kara Ehmann picked me. Both experiences were very emotional, as Bree was my cheer mentor. I loved her, and the fact that she wanted me of anyone at Siena to carry on her legacy was an incredible opportunity that I am forever grateful for, and to be a part of. As for Kara, we were best friends since like fifth grade,” Walsh said.

Senior Morgan Ford was passed the torch last year and is now ready to pass the torch herself.

“Emily Peters is my best friend, so having her pass down her torch to me was such a big deal to me,” she said. “I’ve looked up to her for a long time, and she was trusting me to carry her legacy. I didn’t want to let her down. I think in a way it brought us even closer.”

Walsh will pass the torch to her younger sister, Allison, and her teammate, Sydney Hamilton. Ford will pass her torch to her sorority little, Isi Trishan, and her close friend, Kayla Ellis.

Both Walsh and Ford said they have big hopes for the classmates they are passing their torches to, and those receiving the torches have big shoes to fill.

“I know that I am forever a better person because of those who torched me and those who I am torching,” Walsh said. “I hope everyone who has the chance to be involved takes the opportunity!”

Torch Night is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, April 29 in St. Dominic Chapel.