Bear Faire — What it means to graduating seniors

Seniors Justin Rodriguez from San Antonio and Ashley Oradat from Houston sign up to take their portrait for the year book at the Bear Fair March 30, 2016.

The Bear Faire is taking place today from noon to 6 p.m. in the Stone Room of the Ferrell Center.

Students will be able to check their diploma name, purchase their cap and gown, order graduation announcements, record shout out videos to be played before the ceremony, take yearbook photos and order a yearbook, take senior photos, ask questions about student loans, connect with the Baylor Alumni Network and more.

Carbondale, Colo., senior Jayson Denton is graduating with his bachelors and masters of accounting. After five years at Baylor, Denton said he is excited to graduate. He has had a job lined up at an accounting firm in Denver since his sophomore year and is looking forward to using the skills he has worked so hard to learn.

“I’m sad to be leaving Baylor. It seems like I’ve been here forever, but I’m excited to move on,” Denton said. “I know Baylor has prepared me to go out into the field, and I’m actually working with a few other Baylor grads, so that’s comforting.”

Now that Denton has his cap and gown, he said graduation feels closer and much more real.

Houston senior Kelly Cochran got her cap and gown and took her senior pictures at the Bear Faire, but she is most excited about the shout-out video she filmed.

At the Faire, all seniors have the opportunity to record a 30-second video thanking their family and friends for supporting them through their college career. The videos will be played before the ceremony begins.

“I’m not telling my parents about the video, I want it to be a surprise. I hope they don’t miss it,” Cochran said. “My parents have supported me my whole life and listened to my tears every time I called complaining about majoring in mechanical engineering. I’m so glad I got to make a video thanking them.”

College Station senior Savannah Batista says going through the Bear Faire feels surreal.

“I’m waiting for that ‘High School Musical’ moment when you’re together with all of your friends for the last time, I can’t believe it’s almost here,” Batista said.

Batista is taking her international studies degree and going to work in Germany with a study abroad company. She is excited to start the next part of her life but she is going to miss Baylor, especially the football games and the Thanksgiving dinners.

“There is no place like Baylor,” Batista said. “I know I will never find a community like this anywhere else, and I am so proud to be graduating from this University.”