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College honors multiethnic seniors

Mandi Stirone | Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Saint Mary’s held its first annual Multiethnic Celebration on Saturday, May 3 to commemorate the 11 graduating multiethnic seniors.

Alumna, faculty, members of the College’s multiethnic clubs and some students attended the event held in Dalloway’s Coffee House.

The graduating seniors were presented with a gift from the diversity clubs and a gift from the Student Diversity Board (SDB) and each wore a black stole with embroidered symbols in multi-colored thread over her graduation gown.  

Junior Chrissy Romo presided over the ceremony and the gifts were presented by director of Multicultural Affairs Larisa Olin-Ortiz. Speakers included Vice president for Student Affairs Karen Johnson former student body president Kim Hodges and Tysus Jackson, a 1999 African-American alumna and Director of Development for the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech.

In her opening speech, Johnson congratulated and thanked the seniors for their dedication and hard work over the past four years.

“I want to thank you for the courage that you’ve had,” she said. “We’re very proud of you.”

Hodges reflected on her activities and projects at Saint Mary’s.

“This event is truly a dream come true for me,” she said. “It is a representation of community and even more so a celebration for people I consider to be family.”

She also talked about the accomplishments of the other students being honored at the celebration and expressed thankfulness for her own triumphs at the College.

“It was all worth the sacrifice and I would do it all again,” she said.

Jackson, a first generation college graduate, talked about her time at the College and congratulated Hodges on being the first African-American student body president.

During her speech, she discussed her struggle to come to a decision to attend Saint Mary’s, though she eventually realized her decision was the right one.

She came to appreciate her experiences at Saint Mary’s during her time at the College, particularly those she took with professor of sociology Susan Alexander.

As a result of these classes, Jackson gave a $1000 to the College in the name of Susan Alexander at the end of her speech.

The celebration ended with an invocation and a reception for everyone in attendance.

The graduating seniors honored were Jeanne Choquehuanca, Victoria Dominguez, Sarita Fritzler, Kimberly Hodges, Adriana Lopez, Michelle Sherman, Razio Stanikzai, Martell Cardy, Lesley Weaver, Vesela Yondova and Marie-Rose Semuhuingu.