Mount honors achievements of nearly 80 scholars

April 19, 2017

Venezia Verdi, a junior media studies/production major, is recognized as an Aquinas Scholar on Tuesday, April 18. 


Approximately 80 Mount Saint Mary College students were celebrated for their academic achievements at an induction ceremony for Aquinas, Ralph, and Boyle Scholars on Tuesday, April 18.

Nearly 200 people attended the ceremony, held in Hudson Auditorium on campus, which recognized the Mount’s best and brightest.

Before distributing honor cords to the scholars, to be worn at graduation, Mount president Dr. David Kennett congratulated the students on a job well done. The cords were then blessed by Fr. Francis Amodio, O.Carm., campus chaplain and director of the Mount’s Campus Ministry.

The keynote address was delivered by Sr. Margaret Sullivan, OP, a Mount alumna and professor emerita of theology at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire.

“Tonight, I am truly in awe of what you have accomplished,” she said to the scholars. “You really are our shining stars and our voice of hope for the future.”

Aquinas, Ralph, and Boyle Scholar awards are presented to those students who attain a high degree of proficiency in their studies and have demonstrated a sincere commitment to learning at MSMC. Candidates must be full-time students, and only 5 percent of each class may be nominated.

A Ralph Scholar is a sophomore who has attained a grade point average of at least 3.40 who has received the recommendation of at least two faculty members. The Ralph Scholar Award is named in honor of Sr. Mary Vincent Ralph, O.P., co-founder of the college and its first academic dean.

An Aquinas Scholar is a junior or senior with a minimum grade point average of at least 3.60 who has received the recommendation from their major’s division. The award is named after St. Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of students and Catholic colleges and universities.

The event marked the first group of Boyle Scholars the Mount has ever produced. A Boyle Scholar is a senior in the Mount’s Adult Degree Completion Program who has attained a minimum grade point average of 3.60, and has been recommended by their division and their academic advisor. The Boyle Scholar Award is named in honor of Sr. Agnes Boyle, OP. During her time at the Mount, Sr. Boyle initiated the adult degree program. She was also one of the founders of what would become the Catholic Dominican Institute (CDI), which hosted the induction ceremony.

CDI promotes the Mount’s heritage of St. Dominic, advances the Dominican charism of study and service, provides a forum for discussion of contemporary ethical issues, and enhances Catholic and Jewish dialogue. The Institute welcomes persons of varied faiths and acknowledges different religious traditions as essential to the college’s intellectual and spiritual life.

The institute is directed by Charles Zola, associate professor of philosophy and chair of the division of philosophy and religious studies.