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End-of-Year Traditions

MSMU honors the students, staff and faculty who made 2017-2018 another year to remember.

May 11, 2018

President's Award recipients pose for a photo with President Ann McElaney-Johnson, following the 2018 Mary's Day ceremony.
President's Award recipients pose for a photo with President Ann McElaney-Johnson, following the 2018 Mary's Day ceremony.

As the 2017-2018 academic year concludes, the Mount Saint Mary's University community has come together for several opportunities to honor the accomplishments of students, faculty and staff. 

From Laurel Awards, Mary's Day and Athenian Awards to the Senior Farewell Dinner and President's Appreciation Dinner for faculty and staff, this has been the time of year to celebrate. 

Laurel Awards 

The candle lighting procession during the Laurel Awards ceremony at Doheny.
The candle lighting procession during the Laurel Awards ceremony at Doheny.

On Saturday, April 14, the Doheny Campus community gathered, along with family and friends, to celebrate the achievements of students in the Mount's associate degrees program. Students were honored for academics, service and leadership as part of a Doheny Campus tradition that dates back to 1974.

Among the awards bestowed that day were the Laurel Wreath Awards, which were nominated by faculty, staff and students. Recipients included: 

Susan Cacique
Melissa Castellanos
Abigail Cowo
Esmeralda Gallegos
Kimberly Ganivet
Cindy Lopez
Lianne Moore
Kimberly Nambo
Astrid Perez
Brittany Perez
Katheleen Perez
Kimberly Rivas
Karla Visuet

The Laurel Awards are modeled on the ancient Greek custom of bestowing laurel wreaths on the heads of victors in the Olympic games. See an album of photos from the Laurel Awards on Mount Saint Mary's Facebook page. 

Mary's Day 
On Saturday, April 21, family and friends made their way to the University's Chalon Campus to celebrate the accomplishments of baccalaureate students during the Mary's Day Honors and Awards Convocation. Mary's Day awards honor students who exemplify Mary’s spirit of courage, inspiration and service, and recognition is also given for students who have excelled academically, in service to the community and through leadership.

The President's Awards are also presented as part of Mary's Day -- the greatest honor granted to MSMU graduating seniors. This year's recipients were: 

Monique Bracamonte
Cristina Aloha Cabalquinto
Vanessa Gonzalez
Karla Guardado-Segura
Aimee Hernandez
Kelsey Horrigan
Julia Johnson
Emma Kroll
Francesca Martin
Melissa Martinez
Allison Mayol
Noely Mendez
Desarey Morales-Vazquez
Michella Mousaed
Mariana Porras
Rebecca Sandoval

The traditional crowning of the Mary statue at Chalon at the end of Mary's Day.
The traditional crowning of the Mary statue at Chalon at the end of Mary's Day.

The day concluded with a procession to Mary's statue in The Circle and the laying of a wreath, a ritual led by seniors who have been named President's Award recipients -- the greatest honor given to undergraduate students at the Mount.

Mary’s Day is one of the oldest traditions at the University, having been established in 1934. See an album of photos from Mary's Day on Mount Saint Mary's Facebook page. 

Athenian Awards 
The Athenian Awards, held at the Mount's Chalon Campus, honored students, faculty and staff, as well as clubs and organizations for their leadership and example on campus. Led by the Office of Women's Leadership and Student Involvement, this year's awards included recognition of"Exemplary Leaders" -- graduating seniors who have consistently demonstrated a commitment to leadership and embody the four core principles of Mount Leads: awareness of self/personal wellness; ethical decision-making and integrity; critical thinking and communication skills; and active citizenship. 

Awardees pose for a photo at the end of the Athenian Awards at Chalon.
Awardees pose for a photo at the end of the Athenian Awards at Chalon.

Among other major awards this year: 

  • Student Organizations of the Year: Na Pua O Ka 'Aina Hawaiian Club and Chalon Student Activities Council
  • Faculty of the Year: Michelle Melendres, EdD
  • Staff of the Year: Maryann Nguyen 
  • Excellence in Service to Students: Faraah Mullings, PhD, Student Programming and Commuter Services; Nelly Vasquez, Food Services 
  • Excellence in Teaching: Paul Lee, PhD, Physical Sciences 

Senior Farewell Dinner 
Each year, the Senior Farewell Dinner offers a chance to the Mount community to send off the University's graduating seniors in style. The night also includes soon-to-be graduates' first-time reading of the Alum Oath, as well as the presentation of the Senior Class Gift to MSMU -- this time a check for $3,800 presented to President Ann McElaney-Johnson by the Class of 2018! 

To see an album of photos from the Senior Farewell Dinner, visit MSMU's Facebook page. 

President's Appreciation Dinner
With Commencement ceremonies finished and the academic year concluded, MSMU faculty and staff gathered one final time in 2017-2018 for the President's Appreciation Dinner, held May 9 at Doheny's Rose Hills Plaza. The special occasion recognized faculty and staff for their accomplishments, promotions and milestone anniversaries in their service to the Mount community. 

Congratulations to all! 

Honorees are cheered by family, friends and faculty during the Laurel Awards at the University's Doheny Campus.
Honorees are cheered by family, friends and faculty during the Laurel Awards at the University's Doheny Campus.