By Julianne Bartosz
Editor in chief
The annual Pre-Finals Breakfast for Students has become a Saint Mary’s University tradition for faculty and staff to show students support as they embark upon the stressful time of finals, according to Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Donna Aronson.
The Pre-Finals Breakfast, which has been held at SMU for about 20 to 25 years, will be held on Thursday, Dec. 13, from 10 to 11:30 p.m. in the Toner Center dining room, said Barbara Schmidtknecht, the administrative assistant to the academic vice president of the college who has helped plan the event for many years. She said that not much has changed for the event except that it is now co-sponsored by SMU’s Office of Academic Affairs and Chartwells Food Service.
“The Pre-Finals Breakfast has always been well attended,” said Schmidtknecht. “It is a nice tradition to continue.” She estimates that between seven or eight hundred students attend the event each year.
Dr. Aronson emphasized the opportunity that the event allows for faculty and staff to show their support and wish them success in finals. She said she understands the importance of the event as an opportunity for students to see faculty in a different role. However, Dr. Aronson said that she never understood how pancakes help students study.
In addition to the late night snack, students are also invited to sing Christmas carols while dining in the cafeteria. Dr. Aronson and Young Alumni and Student Relations Associate Director Bob Fisher said this is their favorite part of the event.
“The Christmas holiday always reminds me of family,” said Fisher, who has played the role of Santa at the two previous Pre-Finals Breakfasts. “The Pre-Finals Breakfast represents the SMU family by allowing us all to come together to support students and end the semester as a community.”
Dr. Aronson said that the Pre-Finals Breakfast serves as an initiation for faculty as well as an event for students. She said the first-year faculty work the late shift while second-year faculty work the early shift. In addition to this scheduling, additional veteran faculty members attend the Pre-Finals Breakfast each year.
“It emphasizes the importance of service and serving,” said Dr. Aronson. “It gives students a sense of goodwill from faculty.”
Dr. Aronson wishes all students study hard for finals and have a safe break.