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First-year biology student takes Crossing the Bridge ceremony into her own hands

August 25, 2015

Like a true Stephens woman, first-year student Marisela Cruz took things into her own hands when Move-In Day did not go as planned.

Cruz, from Texas, got held up in a line at a local Wal-Mart on Move-In Day and missed the Crossing the Bridge ceremony. Her parents were preparing to make the drive back home and had wanted to make sure she had last-minute supplies before they left. By the time they got back to campus, however, the ceremony had already begun.

“We pulled up and saw the president walking all of the students over the bridge, and my dad said, ‘Aren’t you supposed to be up there?’ I was so sad I missed it,” she said. “Then I kept reading about it on social media and it sounded so cool.”

But Cruz did not let it stop her from participating in the ceremony altogether. Rather, she asked President Dianne Lynch if she would recreate it and walk her over the bridge at a later time.

Crossing the Bridge is a tradition that marks the beginning of students’ journey at Stephens. It begins in Historic Senior Quad, where the president explains what it means to be part of the Stephens community. Lynch then walks the incoming class over two pedestrian bridges into Journey Plaza in the heart of campus, where the group is greeted and welcomed by family, as well as College administrators, faculty and staff. Prior to graduating, students cross the bridges again, starting at Journey Plaza and crossing the bridges away from campus into the community, where they are greeted by Stephens alumnae.

Lynch and Cruz made the symbolic crossing around lunchtime yesterday. Although it was a solo trip, Lynch gave her the full experience, explaining Stephens traditions to her and assuring her that the president’s office is always open if she needs anything.

Cruz came to Stephens to study biology and ultimately matriculate into medical school. She said she was impressed with the college’s record of high acceptance rates into graduate school. She also liked the friendliness of those she worked with through the admissions process. That Stephens is an all-women environment sealed the deal.

After crossing the two pedestrian bridges into campus, Cruz was all smiles, thanking the president for taking time to do it.

“Thank you for caring enough to ask me,” Lynch said. “That means a lot.”

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