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One of the oldest traditions at the Mount's Chalon Campus: After the Mary's Day awards ceremony, a chain of students pass along a wreath that is ultimately placed atop the Mary statue.

Mount traditions: Mary's Day & Laurel Day

As Mount Saint Mary’s University’s 90th year draws to a close, the Mount paused to acknowledge those students whose exceptional academic achievements and community service contributions best reflect the traditions of the University. During the recent Laurel Day and Mary’s Day ceremonies, the Mount recognized nearly 270 outstanding undergraduate students, 14 of whom received the University’s highest honor, the President’s Award.

The Laurel Day award ceremony, held April 21 in the Rose Hills Auditorium on the Doheny Campus, honored nearly 70 associate of arts degree students. The April 23 Mary’s Day awards, which was held in the Campus Center at Chalon, recognized 200 bachelor’s degree students.

President’s Award 
At the Mary’s Day ceremony, Mount Saint Mary’s President Ann McElaney-Johnson presented the President’s Award to 14 students in recognition of their campus leadership, contributions and personal accomplishments. Honorees were nominated by University faculty and staff, with winners selected by a 15-member committee. The winners, all of whom are graduating seniors, are:

Karla Ballesteros

Andrea Castañeda

Ingrid Cruz

Blanca Duenas

Barbara Escobar

Crystal Haro-Sanchez

Cristina Lopez

Dahlia Maldonado

Mitzuky Orellana

Amy Perez

Amber Rodriguez

Jasmine Scales

Haley Williams

Raven Vinluan

Laurel Day Awards 
President McElaney-Johnson was joined by faculty and student life representatives in presenting 33 Laurel Awards in 10 academic categories: business administration, early childhood education, English/writing, health and human services, language and culture, liberal arts, political science, psychology, pre-health biology and pre-health nursing. Awardees were selected by their respective degree program directors.

Also honored were 22 graduating AA students who maintained overall minimum cumulative grade point averages of 3.5 or higher.

Fifteen students received special recognition for their campus service as Student Success Center mentors, LEAD program volunteers, club presidents, campus ministers, orientation leaders, head resident and resident assistants, Doheny Student Activities Council members, and Student Ambassadors. They were chosen by a committee comprising faculty and staff that also inducted first-year winners into the Laurel Wreath and sophomore students into the Laurel Circle leadership groups.

Established in 1974, the Laurel Awards are modeled on the ancient Greek custom of bestowing laurel wreaths on the heads of victors in the Olympic games.

The full list of Laurel honorees  is available online.

Mary’s Day Awards 
The Mary’s Day Award honored 200 students who exemplify Mary’s spirit of courage, inspiration and service. Department chairs and faculty recognized the academic performance of more than 65 students from all classes in the areas of biological sciences; business administration; education; English; history, political science and healthcare policy; language and culture; music; nursing; philosophy; physical sciences and mathematics; psychology; and sociology.

In addition, the Mount honored nearly 70 seniors graduating cum laude, manga cum laude and summa cum laude, as well as 11 senior leadership scholars and 14 honors program graduates.

Award presenters included President McElaney-Johnson; George Arnold, provost; Jane Lingua, vice president for Student Affairs; Laura Crow, dean of Student Life, Chalon; and Jessica Cuevas, director of Residence Life.

Mary’s Day was established in 1934 as part of the University’s annual commemoration of Mother Mary and still features a crowning of the Mary statue at Chalon. In 1956, it was expanded into an awards and honors convocation. 

The full list of Mary’s Day honorees  is available online.

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