The best year yet for Cav campus leadership

By Emily Shultz
May 10, 2024

Yeredith Cruz walks across the stage to accept honors award. Photo by Emily Shultz.
Yeredith Cruz walks across the stage to accept honors award. Photo by Emily Shultz.

On Saturday, May 4, students and family gathered to celebrate on-campus leadership and honor society inductions. The Cavalier Leadership Recognition Ceremony was a part of the Student Government Association’s Family Day, a yearly all-day event filled with fun activities for students, friends, and family. 

From 11:30 to 1:30 p.m., Cabrini hosted Burrito Feliz and Zac’s Burgers food trucks, live music from Cabrini alum Cole Campbell, lawn games, and other activities. From 1 to 2:30 p.m., a movie in Widener Lecture Hall, a performance by magician John Cassidy at 3 p.m. in Dixon Center, followed by Mass at 4 p.m., dinner at Cav’s Corner, and Gift Card Bingo at 6 p.m. 

Despite the drab, rainy weather, Cabrini’s family and friends made a decent turnout. Emily Lichius, a sophomore writing major, said, “I think out of the events hosted on campus this year, this one is definitely one of the best attended that I’ve seen personally.”

High spirits and major wins

Although enrollment declined, Cabrini students stuck to the motto, “Last year, best year,” and went full force. 

Bridget O’Donnell, Director of Student Engagement and Leadership, was overjoyed by student success this school year, “It’s been incredible. I think that the students who have stayed and taken on leadership roles really wanted to create a good experience for themselves and their peers. And so, it’s been a lot of fun. It’s been high energy, there’s been a lot of really good work done by student leaders in terms of their leadership development skills, their academic achievements. So yeah, I’m really happy with how well everything has gone this year.” 

Students were inducted into honor societies such as Sigma Zeta for STEM, Alpha Kappa Delta for sociology, Alpha Phi Sigma for criminology and criminal justice, Phi Sigma Iota for foreign language, Psi Chi for psychology, Phi Alpha for social work, and the National Leadership Honor Society (NLHS). 

Wolfington Center director Dr. Ray Ward at the podium. Photo by Emily Shultz.

In addition, the convocation also acknowledged a wide variety of leadership positions: NLHS chapter leaders, student organization leaders, 2023 orientation leaders, Student Engagement and Leadership (SEaL) staff, Campus Activities and Programming board, resident assistants, Campus Ministry’s peer ministers, Next Step mentors, Puentes, Wolfington Center student staff, and Pierce Fellows. 

Mother Ursula Award winner 

Additionally, Dr. Ray Ward, director of Wolfington Center, announced the Mother Ursula Award winner, Mariana Cruz-Sanchez.

 The Mother Ursula Award is the highest award a Cabrini student can receive. It dates back to 1968, is voted on by peers, and awarded to a graduating senior who embodies the Cabrini mission and its values. 

A year to be remembered

O’Donnell added, “I’m really proud of all of our leaders for creating their own experience this year. It could have gone a lot differently. And all the students, everyone here just really took it upon themselves to create their own experience, which is amazing.”

Campus Ministry Director Antoinette Reaves concluded the ceremony with a special closing prayer. 

“Remember the spirit of quaintness, satisfaction, and love that’s around you while you spend your time in this place. Share the blessings of this home everywhere you go. The Missionary Sisters live this. Mother Cabrini displayed this. Know this . . . Make an impact. Continue to let your presence make a difference.” 

Note: on Monday, May 7, the communication department held a separate ceremony recognizing graduating seniors and inducting students into Cabrini’s chapter of the Society of Collegiate Journalists (SCJ). Eight students, Micah Balobalo, Seamus Feeley, Jason Fridge, Sam Kirk, Chris Perri, Brooke Protesto, Emily Shultz, and Samantha Taddei were inducted. Isaiah Dickson was recognized for winning the Jerry Zurek Communicator for the Common Good scholarship, and Samantha Taddei won the Communication Department Medal Award. As an additional surprise, chair Dr. Dawn Francis announced the department’s College Media Association Pinnacle Award for Standalone Website of the Year for its Convergence project, TitleIXRedefined.

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Emily Shultz

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