Lewis University students Bryan Bolton of Downers Grove, Ill. and Melissa Farmer of Flossmoor, Ill. received the Father Aquinas Colgan Award during the University’s undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies held Sunday, May 19 at the Romeoville main campus. This special achievement and recognition is awarded to graduating seniors at each of the University’s undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies held in May and December.
Bolton graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Secondary Education. He earned a 3.4/4.0 cumulative grade point average. “’The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others,’ this quote by Mahatma Gandhi is the best way to describe my experience here at Lewis University,” explained Bolton. He found his calling and true passion through joining Big Brothers Big Sisters of America at Lewis University.
Involved off and on campus, Bolton is a part of University Ministry, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and was a leader for the Koinonia and the Catalyst retreats offered at Lewis University. Bolton also has led the Lasallian Youth Gathering for high school students from across the country.
Farmer graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work. She earned a 3.39/4.0 cumulative grade point average. “Lewis University taught me and showed me that I could do anything I put my mind to. Before I was a shy, quiet, individual who was meandering through life. I didn’t any goals or ambitions and I was unsure if college was even right for me. Now I have transformed into an outspoken and caring individual who will be the first person in her family to graduate from college, and I will be graduating with honors,” said Farmer. <\p>
Farmer is a very active member of the Lewis University community. She is a member of the Senior Class Council, Senior Challenge, President’s Student Advisory Council, and Heritage Team. She has volunteered with Night Ministries, Feed My Starving Children, MorningStar Mission, and a Luminate service trip. <\p>
Students are nominated for the Father Aquinas Colgan Award by University faculty and staff. To be eligible for nomination, a student must be an undergraduate who has qualified for graduation, who is a four-year student of Lewis University with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0, and who has demonstrated exemplary personal, intellectual and social development in the spirit of Lewis University’s Mission.
A Lewis University tradition, the Father Aquinas Colgan Award has been presented to an outstanding undergraduate student at the university’s Commencement exercises since 1955. The award recognizes students who have demonstrated personal and intellectual growth, a strong commitment to their faith, and a firm dedication to the Lasallian values of justice and association.
The award honors the memory of Father Aquinas Colgan, O. Carm., who was chaplain early in the University’s history. A U.S. Army chaplain during World War II, Father Aquinas died on May 6, 1945, while attempting to rescue a wounded corpsman. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for valor, becoming one of only seven chaplains to receive this honor in World War II. He had previously received the Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster for acts of heroism and for two earlier wounds. Father Aquinas is remembered for his character, bravery, and persistence in pursuing goals, and also for his deep personal faith.
Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition, offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.
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