Christendom College sophomore Thomas Hepler, from Cranberry, Pa., was recently honored by being named one of the Diocese of Arlington’s “Volunteers of the Year.”
Hepler, who serves as the president of the college’s pro-life group, Shield of Roses, as well as the president of the sophomore class, received his award at the Youth and Campus Ministry Appreciation Dinner, held on December 9 at St. Joseph’s Church in Herndon, Va., where more than 400 volunteers, family, and friends gathered to honor all youth and campus ministry workers.
The evening began with Mass celebrated by Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde and was followed by dinner and the presentation of awards.
After dinner, Kevin Bohli, director of the diocesan Office of Youth Ministry, welcomed the ministers and thanked them for their service.
More than 45 other individuals were recognized by the Diocese for their generosity in volunteering in a variety of ways and for many varied organizations. Mrs. Anne Carroll, Director of Seton School in Manassas, Va., and widow of Christendom College’s founder, the late Dr. Warren Carroll, received the More Award. The award, named after the patron of the Arlington Diocese, St. Thomas More, was given to Carroll for choosing service above self-promotion and for her steadfast defense of the faith. Hepler received his award for “Volunteer of the Year” in recognition for his valuable contributions to young people.
“Thomas is an outstanding example of what it means to be a Christendom student,” says Chris Vander Woude, Christendom’s dean of students. “He gives 100% all of the time to whatever he does – whether working with the sophomore class and the activities council or organizing the weekly Shield of Roses pro-life event. I am so pleased that Thomas has received this wonderful recognition from the Diocese. It is a credit to his servant-first personality.”
In previous years, Christendom students and faculty have received similar awards. In 2012, philosophy professor Mike Brown won the Ex Corde Award for his work with the college’s successful mission program, and then-seniors John McFadden, Sara Federico, and Chris Roberts were named “Volunteers of the Year” for their tireless work to protect the unborn through Shield of Roses.