When Lindsay Hestermann graduates this December, sheâ€™ll be leaving behind T-shirts, her favorite Halloween costume and memories.
The senior English education major and president of Pi Beta Phi sorority is one of the many CSU Greeks participating in senior wills, a ceremony that allows graduating members to pass on traditional items and stories.
In Pi Beta Phi, incoming members are matched with an older girl, or â€œbig sister,â€ in the house who acts as a mentor. As a part of the wills, when a senior is graduating their little sister will write a letter and read it aloud, which is often sentimental, Hestermann said.
â€œThe senior or the big sis will â€˜will downâ€™ the best stuff to their little. A lot of time itâ€™s really random goofy stuff,â€ Hestermann said. â€œWe have a ton of T-shirts, so thatâ€™s usually the most willed thing.â€
While Hestermann said that most willed items are light-hearted â€” last year she was left a goldfish â€” they also carry a significant message to younger members.
â€œIt kind of gives closure to the seniors and also provides a way to say, â€˜weâ€™re not going to be here anymore, but we believe in you and we have faith in you to pass on the legacy weâ€™ve left.â€™â€
In Sigma Phi Epsilon, the oldest active fraternity on campus, senior wills have been going on since the 1980s.
â€œItâ€™s more about the stories that go along with the items,â€ said junior Billy Raddell, the fraternityâ€™s president. â€œItâ€™s a big way for the seniors to tell stories and itâ€™s a great way to recap and pass on those stories to new guys.â€
Senior English major and member of Sigma Phi Epsilon James Stuart has been willed many things during his time in the fraternity. Two of these include a great dane named Bentley and a multi-colored vest â€” or â€œnasty â€˜70s vest.â€
The inside of the vest has the names of previous owners scribbled in black marker dating back to 1998.
â€œAt the CSU/CU football game I had this tailgating jacket on and some guy came up to me and said that it was his four years ago,â€ Stuart said. â€œI hope to come back and see some stuff that I used to own.â€
Although Stuart wonâ€™t be graduating until the spring semester, he has begun boxing up some of the items he plans to will down.
â€œItâ€™s kind of surreal,â€ Stuart said of his little time left in school. â€œIt snuck up on me, but itâ€™s very exciting. Iâ€™m happy to be leaving but still kind of sad.â€
For Stuart and Hestermann, graduating will be bittersweet as they leave their collectibles and college lives behind.
â€œItâ€™s time to go out there in the real world and get some new stuff,â€ Stuart said.
City Council Beat Reporter Erin Udell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.