UNC seniors Katie Wilson and Kendall Ward — randomly-assigned first-year suitemates turned best friends — left their signatures on the brick wall of the Morehead-Patterson Bell Tower on Wednesday.
“Katie + Kendall," they signed in permanent marker.
“It was really nice to do it together, since we’ve been friends since the beginning, and end it together,” Wilson said.
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, UNC seniors wrapped around the lawn of the Bell Tower to sign their names on the inside wall, which has been a tradition at the University since 2003. The climb is 128 steps.
Ward said she has recently become grateful to go to a school with such strong traditions and community.
“I just think it was really special and was very sentimental,” Ward said. “I think it is something I’ll remember doing forever, and then maybe if they don't wash them off, one day I can show it to my kids.”
Senior Amanda Biddix said she has always wanted to climb the Bell Tower, so this moment felt like closure. She was wrapping up this goal of hers while leaving a last impact on the campus.
Although she said it has not yet fully hit her that her days at UNC are coming to an end, she is worried about what comes after graduation.
“Finally getting to the top was nice like looking out on Wilson (Library) and campus, realizing like this is it," Biddix said. "And I have to adult after this."
She said she loves continuing traditions, so she was glad to be able to do this activity as so many students have done before her.
Senior Cade Darnell said the moment was very bittersweet.
“It's bittersweet because everything's coming to an end,” Darnell said. “It's definitely something that I've looked forward to, and now that I've been able to do it, it's kind of a cap on my career here.”
Darnell said all the seniors signed a book, signed the wall and took pictures at the event. Not only was he leaving his name at the school, he said, but he was leaving his mark.
This moment was filled with pride and accomplishment, knowing he had done all he needed to in order to graduate. He said it has been a hard four years.
Reflecting on his time at UNC, Darnell gave some advice for incoming first-years and current undergraduate students.
“Don't take anything for granted,” Darnell said. “Your time here is not going to be as long as you think and make every memory last as much as you can."
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article's photo caption incorrectly spelled the name of Trang Le. The article has been updated with the correct name spelling. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for this error.
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