Christendom College honored the outstanding academic and athletic achievements and volunteer services of the senior class this past week, during the annual awards luncheon. Handing out eight different awards, the luncheon recognized the best of the graduating class of 2016, thanking them for their service to the college and the community over the past four years.
“Today is a special day, as we take this opportunity to acknowledge excellence and to acknowledge achievement, on the part of a number of students here at Christendom,” said college president Dr. Timothy O’Donnell in his opening remarks. “Here at Christendom, we are very much interested in striving to educate the whole person. Academics has a definite priority, but in striving to form the entire person, there’s a whole variety of things that do go on here that are important, that people involve themselves with in many ways. Today, we honor the excellence seen in each of these areas.”
The Student Activities Council’s (SAC) Joe McGlynn Award for Service was given to Becca Francis. During her time on the council, Francis demonstrated a strong work ethic and a willingness to go above and beyond to help out at over a hundred campus events. Her service exemplified the best of Christendom’s SAC, which is amongst the most active in the nation.
The college’s Maggie Murray Student Employee Award was awarded to college receptionist Eileen Weichert, who worked for the college’s Office of the President for five semesters and also one entire summer. For many benefactors and parents, she was the voice of Christendom, handling calls professionally and with a natural friendliness.
For the college’s Crusader Leadership Award, the athletic department recognized the exceptional leadership and service of rugby and soccer team captain Pat Audino, who played on the teams during the entirety of his four years at Christendom. Audino excelled on the field and in the classroom, and was instrumental in making Christendom’s rugby team the most successful athletic program at the college.
Five of the college’s academic departments awarded seniors with academic awards. The English language and literature department’s Robert C. Rice Award for Outstanding English Language and Literature Thesis was awarded to Amy Marter. Her thesis topic, To the Heights of Contemplation: A Defense of the Linguistic Limits of Paradiso, distinguished itself by revealing outstanding scholarship, collegiality, and written success. Marter also minored in Classical and Early Christian Studies.
For the philosophy department’s Outstanding Senior Philosophy Major Award, the department recognized Miriam McShurley for her commitment to the pursuit of wisdom both in the classroom and outside of it. McShurley wrote her thesis on Josef Pieper on the Truth of Things.
The history department’s Warren H. Carroll Award for Outstanding Senior History Thesis was awarded to Kinsey Benz, who exemplified the historical scholarship standard set by Christendom’s founder, Dr. Warren Carroll, with her thesis God Gave Us Liberty: Freedom of Religion and the Contribution of Catholicism to the Founding of the United States. Benz also minored in theology.
Kaitlyn Kelley was awarded the college’s William H. Marshner Award for Outstanding Senior Theology Thesis. Her work, Transcendental Traces: The Beauty of Mathematical Order in Nature as Evidence for the Existence of God, displayed the depth of intellectual analysis, rigor, and clarity that is indicative of the founding faculty member’s distinguished scholarship. Kelley also minored in the college’s new mathematics degree.
For the college’s William Luckey Award for Outstanding Senior Political Science and Economics Thesis, the department honored Nick Jaroma for his thesis Freedom of Conscience and the First Amendment: An Absolute Right?
The annual awards luncheon is held to recognize the best and brightest of each graduating class at Christendom College, acknowledging their academic and leadership achievements.