Claire Guernsey, Henry Summers, and Rose Norris have been named the winners of Christendom’s 2018 Padre Pio Full-Tuition Scholarship competition.
The three high school seniors stood out amongst a group of 58 finalists for the three scholarships, writing exceptional essays and impressing college staff and faculty during the rigorous interview process. Together, the seniors will now each receive a four-year full-tuition scholarship to attend Christendom.
“We are thrilled to welcome Claire, Henry, and Rose this fall,” says director of admissions Sam Phillips. “The selection process was more difficult than ever this year due to the expanded size of the competition, but these three students did exceptionally well, impressing the scholarship committee with their academic vigor, sharp thinking, strong presentation, and carefully crafted essay. Already through their high school careers these students have demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence, and we cannot wait to see the contributions they will make to Christendom during their four years here.”
Guernsey, a native of Ave Maria, Florida, who attends Rhodora J. Donahue Academy, has been involved in a variety of activities in high school, from captain of the varsity basketball and volleyball teams to president of the pro-life club. For Guernsey, Christendom was her number one choice for college, as she looked for an education that would challenge her total growth as a human person.
“As Catholics, we are called to bear the light of Christ to a world that unceasingly seeks to extinguish that flame,” says Guernsey. “As young adults prepare to live out their vocation amidst the blowing and buffeting of the world, it is so important that they foster this flame as it grows to maturity at a Catholic institution that forms and equips students to recognize truth and evaluate principles in light of the faith. The Catholic, liberal arts education that Christendom offers does just that. As one of the few colleges that upholds authentic, Catholic education, Christendom takes into account the whole person, forming the moral, intellectual, spiritual, and social life through its rigorous curriculum and dynamic Catholic culture. I currently hope to live out my Christian calling as a teacher who incites a love of learning in others and teaches students to critically evaluate and articulate ideas, and I am certain that the education and formation I will receive at Christendom will amply prepare me to do so.”
Summers is currently a homeschooled senior with Kolbe Academy, and is a native of O’Fallon, Missouri. A son of alumni parents, Summers has been exposed to Christendom his entire life, resulting in a deep appreciation for the school and its mission.
“Today, in a world rapidly losing both faith and reason, the Catholic liberal arts are more necessary than ever,” says Summers. “Christendom College provides its students with the cure for society’s cancer by immersing them in the rich truths of Western tradition, by giving them a ‘philosophical habit of mind,’ by strengthening their historical perspective, and, most importantly, by keeping Christ at the heart of both campus and curriculum. Only the whole Truth — Christ Himself — can overcome the trending philosophies of materialism and hedonism. I am deeply grateful that God has blessed me with the chance of attending Christendom, and am confident that the intellectual and spiritual formation I receive here will prepare me to excel wherever He calls me.”
Norris, who was raised near Christendom in Front Royal, Virginia, is also a child of alumni. A senior at Chelsea Academy, where she competes on the varsity basketball team and is a student officer, Norris was impressed at Christendom’s effect on her siblings who attended, and wanted a similar effect on her own life.
“In our modern age, subjectivity and a crisis of truth are prominent,” says Norris. “As Catholics, we have a duty to preserve the truth present in our world and bring the fullness of Christ’s truth back into our society. I believe the Catholic liberal arts education offered by Christendom will rightly form students’ minds to help them fulfill their vocations as proclaimers of the Truth. As I plan to pursue a career in psychology, I know Christendom will give me the necessary foundation to identify and navigate through the snares of modern society guided by the light of God’s Truth.”
The college also awarded $5000 runners-up scholarships to other exceptional Padre Pio finalists: Michael Twohig, Helen Murdoch, Aidan Fletcher, Stefan Fiandeiro, Teresa Munoz, and Amy Nutt.