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Myers, O’Sullivan named SMC co-valedictorians

Liz Harter | Friday, May 18, 2007

Saint Mary’s seniors Kim Myers and Margaret O’Sullivan weren’t looking for the honor but will be co-valedictorians Saturday at Saint Mary’s commencement exercises.

Myers, who will graduate with a degree in English literature and a minor in humanistic studies, called the experience “surreal.”

“I’m honored, and quite frankly, a little bewildered,” Myers said.

Myers did not seek out the honor, but said she did as well as she could in her classes over her four years at Saint Mary’s.

“I worked towards doing well in my classes,” Myers said, “but not towards earning a specific title.”

Myers also participated in several extracurricular activities. She was the secretary of Peacemakers, a social justice organization; a tutor for the Writing Center; a teacher’s assistant for first-year writing classes; and a member of Alpha Xi Eta – the Saint Mary’s chapter of the International English Honor Society.

O’Sullivan, a biology major with a minor in chemistry, also said that she did not work toward becoming valedictorian.

“I did my best and then was told three and a half years later that in doing so I inadvertently was a valedictorian,” O’Sullivan said.

O’Sullivan graduated a semester early from Saint Mary’s to take time off before returning to classes for four to six years of dental school.

O’Sullivan was also heavily involved in extracurricular activities. She was a member of the biology and chemistry clubs, Holy Cross Hall council, Rome Program, Ecuadorian Expedition, Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, ND/SMC Irish Dance Team and was a St. Joseph County Scholar.

O’Sullivan said that while being valedictorian is a great honor, she embarrasses easily and therefore doesn’t like to bring the subject up since she blushes when talking about it.

“I am very thankful for the chance to give a farewell address to my class at graduation,” O’Sullivan said. “I feel blessed and appreciative for this honor.”

Both women will attend graduate schools after graduation. Myers will study at Purdue University, working toward a master’s degree in English Literature. O’Sullivan will study at Case Western University’s School of Dental Medicine; she plans to practice general dentistry if she does not specialize.

Myers and O’Sullivan both said they would miss Saint Mary’s as they go on to new schools.

Myers said the learning environment at Saint Mary’s is something she will miss.

“It’s very personal. The professors take a real interest in you,” she said. “I have had professors approach me and start conversations years after I took one of their classes.”

O’Sullivan, who studied in Rome, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, said she was thankful for the College’s study abroad programs.

“College is a great time to experience the world through travel,” she said.