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Saint Mary’s honors 2017 Outstanding Senior

| Friday, May 19, 2017

During her time at Saint Mary’s, Alex Winegar said she strove to put others before herself, even through simple actions such as holding the door open for others. Winegar, the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Senior Award — which honors a student who exemplifies the Saint Mary’s spirit and values — now awaits the many doors that will open for her as a graduate of the College.

Editor’s Note: Winegar is a former Associate Saint Mary’s Editor of The Observer.

Winegar said students can foster a compassionate, uplifting community through showcasing positivity and optimism in daily tasks.

“My mom always has this saying, ‘Be the bright side in someone’s day,’” Winegar said. “I just hope I could’ve done that for at least a few people.”

Winegar’s classmates empowered her to consistently work toward her ambitions and use her talents for good, she said

“It’s really humbling to accept this award because our class is full of amazing people,” she said. “Our whole school is. I did not expect it to be me at all.”

After earning her degree in communicative sciences and disorders from Saint Mary’s, Winegar will pursue a doctorate degree in audiology at Central Michigan University. She said the invaluable lessons she learned and connections she made while enrolled at the College will benefit her for the rest of her life.

“I want to make sure that I’m grateful for everything I have in my life,” Winegar said. “Take it one day at a time.”

Winegar said she hopes current students embrace their limited time at the College and recognize the premiere education an all-women’s institution affords them.

“Realize the importance of being at Saint Mary’s,” she said. “You’re never going to have that again, so take advantage of all four years.”

Saint Mary’s emphasis on a challenging curriculum and lifelong friendships enables the College to fortify its students’ minds and hearts, Winegar said.

“Over the years, I found myself comparing my college to my friends’ state schools or co-ed schools,” she said. “Ours is truly special and unique, and I think we need to value that a lot more than we do sometimes.”

Winegar said Saint Mary’s enforces values of service and selfless love, which enabled her to explore her passions. Her four-year commitment to Dance Marathon — an annual fundraiser in which participants dance for 12 hours to raise money for Riley Hospital for Children — taught her the powerful influence Saint Mary’s students can have on the world, she said.

“I love Dance Marathon because it’s like we’re part of something bigger than our school,” Winegar said. “This is where you go to school, and you’re dedicating your life for four years to studying here. It’s like, ‘Why not be involved and learn more about what our campus can really do?’”

Saint Mary’s prepares graduates to take on future endeavors with confidence and critical thinking skills, Winegar said. She said she hopes her legacy reflects her everlasting commitment to enhancing the College through simple, random acts of kindness and dedication to service organizations.

“I just want to be known as someone who really cared about the school,” Winegar said.

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About Martha Reilly

Martha is a senior majoring in English literature and political science. She currently serves as Saint Mary's editor but still values the Oxford comma in everyday use.

Contact Martha