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Saint Mary’s valedictorian emphasizes community

| Friday, April 27, 2018

Editor’s note: This is the fifth of a five-part series profiling the valedictorians of Saint Mary’s class of 2018.

When asked to describe her experience at Saint Mary’s College in one word, valedictorian and elementary education major Kathleen Price chose “inspiring.”

She referenced the Sisters of the Holy Cross, the novices, her fellow students, her professors, the education department and the four other women with whom she shares the title of valedictorian.

“To have five of us is unbelievable,” Price said. “Congrats to the other four, and I know they’ve worked extremely hard to get where they’re at. That’s truly a testimony to this college and the endurance of the women here. I truly think it’s unbelievable.”

Price said she was not expecting to receive the title since she transferred to the College after two years at East Carolina University, a state school in Greenville, North Carolina. Her first thoughts after hearing the news were revolving around if she wanted to speak at the commencement ceremony or not, she said, and the consequences of choosing to forgo a speech.

“I knew if I was the only valedictorian not to speak, my mother was going to murder me, so I sucked it up and said I would talk,” Price said. “It’s an honor to be a valedictorian. I’m very much lie low, under the radar. I didn’t even tell anyone. I knew in February, and I didn’t say anything to anyone for the longest time. I told a close friend and my family of course, but no one knew. … It’s an honor and I’m delighted the College wants to recognize me. I get the honor of speaking, and it’s truly an honor. I just need to get over myself and get up there and talk.”

Though Price likes to stray from the spotlight, she said the opportunity is one for which she is grateful. She said she also appreciates the close relationships she’s been able to create during her time on campus, specifically through the Friends With Sisters club.

“My nun — I don’t own her, but I call her my nun — Sister Bernadette Mulick, a retired Sister of the Holy Cross,” Price said. “I’m in Friends With Sisters, and she is my partnering Sister. I can’t even go into words with what that woman has done for me. … She just gives me a smile and a hug every time I see her once a week. … [She’s] always supportive. Whenever I’ve gotten any award or anything that I’m recognized for, she’s right there, front and center. She’s there for me which is really touching. … She’s made this time here truly special.”

All the close relationships Price has formed at Saint Mary’s as well as the familiar environment the campus promotes are some of the things she’ll remember the most, she said.

“It’s truly a different environment here,” she said. “I’ve met so many terrific girls that have, with open arms, embraced me and helped me and have gotten me through so many things while I’ve been here. … I can’t even go into words how awesome my professors have been, especially in the education department. They’ve been saints over there. They go to the ends of the earth for their students. A professor took me to the ER. To have that love and care is just unbelievable.”

Most of all, Price said she will always appreciate what Saint Mary’s has helped her learn about herself.

“I’ve learned so much about myself and about my faith and how I want to serve in the future,” Price said. “I think it’s helped me a lot in seeing what kind of direction I want to take in my life, which has been amazing. I’ve met some amazing, incredible people, people I never would’ve thought I’d meet in a million years. To sum it up, it’s a blessing.”

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