One Panther, big campus

A look at which seniors will be attending a big name college in the fall

(left to right) Harry Laiveling, Michael O'Brien, and Max Hammersmith all pledge their allegiance to the Fighting Irish as part of their class of 2019

(left to right) Harry Laiveling, Michael O'Brien, and Max Hammersmith all pledge their allegiance to the Fighting Irish as part of their class of 2019

Almost four years after their Elder careers began, this year’s graduating class finally has their act together.

After many long, stressful months of submitting applications and receiving letters of interest, the individuals in Elder High School’s graduating class of 2015 have decided on future plans once the school year ends in a few weeks.

With tomorrow being the deadline to make your decision, there has been an assortment of different paths our seniors have decided to go on for themselves.

Most seniors will attend one of the local colleges (UC, XU NKU, Miami, etc.) while staying at home, while others will pass over college entirely to enter the work force. A few of our finest will join the military right out of high school, but a few individuals stand out in their decisions to get as far away from Cincinnati as they can for their prestigious college education.

Moving away is not as easy decision by any stretch, so for these guys to have the guts to go where no Panther has gone before, gives you a good idea of how brave and courageous they are.

Senior Jimmy Dowd surprised a lot of people by signing a letter of intent to become a Florida Gator in the fall, in pursuit of a business degree.

“I had to weigh my options but ultimately UF made me the best offer. I was accepted into their Innovation Academy which is a newer program that allows me to work closely with local startup businesses as well as large corporations such as Disney, which almost guarantees me a good job right out of college,” said Dowd. “Plus, Ohio can’t beat hanging out in the sun all day every day and golfing year round. College is a fresh start and you can’t get a fresher start then going in knowing nobody at all.”

Avery Madden, who many of you know from starting the day off with our morning prayer, has been decked out in white and crimson ever since he decided to attend the University of Alabama for his college experience.

The newest student of the University of Alabama, and Nick Saban's latest prodigy, Avery Madden
The newest student of the University of Alabama, and Nick Saban’s latest prodigy, Avery Madden

“The campus is very friendly and beautiful. It seems like a great place to get a fresh start. To go along with Alabama football, and learning new college material, I couldn’t be happier with my decision, ” said Madden. “I think it will definitely be an adventure to move so far away from home, but I’m glad I get to take that adventure at the University of Alabama. Roll tide.”

Only a select few can say that they got accepted into one of the premier universities in all of the United States. But Elder High School can proudly brag that three seniors were accepted to attend the University of Notre Dame. Harry Laiveling, Max Hammersmith, and Michael O’Brien will all be Fighting Irish at the start of the next semester.

O’Brien shared his story of getting accepted, and what he plans to do while studying in South Bend.

“Honestly, Notre Dame wasn’t even on my college radar until this year. Throughout high school, my dream was to go to MIT, but that plan didn’t work out, so at that point I had no clue where I wanted to go,” said O’Brien. “My good friend and I often talked about college, and he’s the one who really introduced me to Notre Dame. The more we talked about it, the more interested I became in the school. I applied despite my doubts of getting accepted, and the four month long wait began. I tried not to get my hopes up so they wouldn’t be crushed if I got rejected, but I couldn’t contain my excitement. On March 26 my acceptance letter finally arrived. It was one of the happiest days of my life.”

The more we talked about it, the more interested I became in the school. I applied despite my doubts of getting accepted, and the four month long wait began. I tried not to get my hopes up so they wouldn’t be crushed if I got rejected, but I couldn’t contain my excitement. On March 26 my acceptance letter finally arrived. It was one of the happiest days of my life.”

— Michael O'Brien

“I went up to South Bend for my first campus visit on April 16th and I fell in love with the school. Everyone there seems passionate not only about their schoolwork, but also making having a positive influence on the world around them. Thanks to Notre Dame’s generous financial aid, now I can be a part of a community whose goal is to change the world for the better,” said O’Brien.

No doubt these guys’ parents are immensely proud of everything they’ve accomplished throughout their Elder careers, and the people of Elder wish them nothing but the best in their future endeavors.

To all the underclassmen, if you stay focused and work hard in school, there’s nothing holding you back from going to Notre Dame or Alabama for college, or even moving right next to Disney World. School may suck at times, but the rewards are too sweet to pass up.

Altiora class of 2015! Thanks for the great memories the last four years!