UofL seniors celebrate at Churchill Downs
University of Louisville seniors and their guests took over the sixth floor Skye Terrace at Churchill Downs Thursday for "Senior Day at the Downs," a celebration marking the end of their college days.
The event, sponsored Office of Student Affairs and the Alumni Association, allowed the seniors to get together for one last time prior to commencement. The afternoon was full of friends, family, food and $2 bets on Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel.
About 270 people attended.
Dean of Students Michael Mardis welcomed students to the event, which was held for the first time this year. Based on initial turnout, Mardis hopes it becomes an ongoing tradition.
"We just wanted to offer the students and their guests an opportunity to be together, maybe for the final time," he said.
The track's third race was named in honor of the graduating seniors – "UofL Senior Celebration: Race to Graduation." A trophy was presented to the winning horse's owner.
Students mingled with each other, posed for pictures, and watched the races from the balcony overlooking the track.
For some, it was the first time to get a glimpse of the track - and UofL in the distance – from Millionaires Row.
Heather Vittitow, a nursing student from Bardstown, said she's always loved Churchill Downs.
"I thought it would be an opportunity to be in the Skye Terrace for once, rather than down on the ground," she said.
Krista Woltermann, a Fort Thomas senior, said she was excited to be at the event, which offered her a chance to say goodbye to her friends. She said the idea to bring together the university and the track was special.
"It's such a good culminating event for the seniors," she said. "We're going to remember this."