Students gather around the Hilltoppers for a concert between the senior apartments, the Brownstones.
“Last chance?” concert by the Hilltoppers and Ladies’ Night Out, acapella groups, was held between the Brownstones on Thursday, March 12. Lightly raining, students still came out to attend the concert that might be the academic year’s last. They were right.
Photo courtesy of Alina Panek

JOEY SEMEL, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus —

All of us will remember where we were when we read President Weinberg’s email about moving classes to online. It was one of those essential moments — the kind of moment you’ll always remember exactly what was happening around you. The kind of moment that doesn’t feel real. The kind of moment where you need to turn to the person next to you to double-check that it is, in fact, legitimate.

I was announcing a Denison baseball game, and the email was sent at almost the exact moment the final out was recorded.

I signed off from that game the same way I sign off from just about every game I announce: “We will see you next time.”

What I didn’t know at the time is that we don’t know when “next time” is. We don’t know when we will be allowed back on campus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s what makes this so hard. There’s no playbook. Nothing to compare it to. Completely and utterly unprecedented. We have no clue what to expect.

It was the Hilltoppers/Ladies’ Night Out acapella concert the week before we left that helped me put leaving campus in perspective. 

It was pouring down rain, but that didn’t deter the large crowd from showing up at the Brownstone steps. What’s more Denison than standing out in the rain, supporting our immensely talented peers doing something they love? What’s more Denison than that something being Hilltoppers and LNO? Seriously, I challenge you to find something that screams “DENISON!” more than that.

Watching the seniors cry made us all do the same. Hearing them sing was such a bittersweet moment not only for them, but also for the crowd. It was one in a line of “lasts” about seven weeks before we as a community were ready for them.

We miss Denison because of our talented peers. We miss Denison because of the support that the community shows one another time and time again. 

We miss Denison because of the people. 

So to those people: wash your hands, keep your head up, and push through. The next few months are going to be very weird, but if we all do our part, we will be back on The Hill in no time. That – we hope — includes you seniors for graduation.

We will see you next time.