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University announces valedictorian, salutatorian for class of 2018

| Thursday, May 3, 2018

The University announced the valedictorian and salutatorian for the class of 2018 in a press release Thursday. Senior Andrew Grose will be the 2018 valedictorian and will deliver the valedictory address at the Commencement ceremony, while senior Harisa Spahić will be salutatorian and deliver the invocation as well as the valedictory address if Grose is unable to do so.

Originally from Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Grose earned a 3.997 overall grade point average (GPA) as a member of the Glynn Family Honors Program and will graduate with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in preprofessional studies and a major in Spanish, according to the press release. An “early inductee into the Notre Dame chapter of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society,” the press release said, he will pursue a master’s degree from Notre Dame. After receiving his master’s, Grose plans to work as a doctor in the “global public health setting, with a focus on underserved rural communities in both the U.S. and Central America.”

According to the release, Grose worked for the non-governmental organization Libras de Amor in El Salvador this past summer through the International Summer Service Learning Program. He spent the previous summer studying Spanish history and film in Toledo, Spain. Additionally, he received the Jose Tito Siguenza Award for Service to Hispanic Youth in April 2018, the James T. DiNardo Award as outstanding junior science preprofessional student in January 2017 and the Department of Preprofessional Studies’ Samuel J. Chmell, M.D., Award, which the department awards each year to a student who “demonstrates a high level of academic achievement, exemplary character and integrity,” the press release said.

Grose was also a four-year member of the University marching band’s drumline and the Dean’s List, and volunteered with multiple service organizations in the Michiana area throughout his time at Notre Dame.

Spahić, the salutatorian, is a native of Granger, Indiana. According to the press release, she will graduate with a major in biochemistry and minors in anthropology and science, and she recently won the 2018 Daniel and Anne Crossen Pre-Medical Student Award from the Office of Preprofessional Studies. A Marshall Scholar finalist with a 4.0 GPA, Spahić will enroll at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the fall.

According to the release, Spahić, another early inductee into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and four-year Dean’s List member, conducted research in “the Cancer Neurocognitive Translational Research Lab, where she was the head undergraduate research assistant for two years, and the Clark research lab, where she studied protein folding in E. coli cells.”

Spahić also participated in several service programs while at the University, taking on a leadership role in Habitat for Humanity and volunteering with other groups such as the Social Justice in American Medicine Club, the Timmy Global Health Notre Dame chapter and the Center for Hospice Care, the press release said.

According to the release, the University selects the valedictorian and salutatorian through an application process amongst “the top three students in each college or school with the highest grade point averages.” The students must receive letters of recommendation from faculty members a write a draft of their potential Commencement speech before a selection committee chooses the two from a group of finalists.

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