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Thursday, May 23, 2024
The Observer

Student leadership banquet honors seniors, announces hall of the year winners

At the 37th annual Student Leadership Awards held Tuesday night in Dahnke Ballroom, student government, the Student Activities Office (SAO) and the Division of Student Affairs presented 30 awards, including Hall of the Year and nine senior awards. O’Neill Family Hall won Hall of the Year, while Pasquerilla West Hall and Caroll Hall won the respective women’s and men’s titles.

Master of ceremonies Antwann Harper, the program coordinator for student programming at SAO, recognized the “countless” nominations.

“These nominations are a clear reminder of the true love and commitment our students have for this community,” Harper said. “You all do work that builds a better tomorrow and a better Notre Dame.”

Hall Presidents Council co-chairs Jinny Gouldin and Lauryn Pugh announced the hall of the year winners at Tuesday's Student Leadership Banquet in Dakhnke Ballroom.
Hall Presidents Council co-chairs Jinny Gouldin and Lauryn Pugh announced the hall of the year winners at Tuesday’s Student Leadership Banquet in Dahnke Ballroom.

Connor Patrick, former president of Club Coordination Council (CCC), delivered the evening’s first four awards.

Club of the Year went to the Multiracial/Multiethnic Student Association of Notre Dame. The Black Business Association’s trek to Silicon Valley over winter break earned Club Event of the Year. Luke Strawn of the rock-climbing club and Andrew Bartolini of the University’s American Society of Civil Engineers chapter were named Officer and Advisor of the Year, respectively.

Next, the former student body president and vice-president, Patrick Lee and Sofie Stitt, issued four Student Union awards.

For service to students, an Irish Clover award was presented to Howard Hall rector Anna Kenny and former Cavanaugh Hall president Molly Schroeder. Mathematics professor Brian Mulholland received the Frank O’Malley Undergraduate Teaching Award, and Michael Murakami won the Michael J. Palumbo Award for his dedication to the Student Union.

Hall Presidents Council (HPC) co-chairs Jinny Gouldin and Lauryn Pugh then revealed the Men’s Hall of the Year, Women’s Hall of the Year and Hall of the Year awards.

Despite having one of its smallest first-year classes ever, Carroll Hall landed Men’s Hall of the Year. Goudlin said that Carroll Hall’s community soared beyond expectations due to events such as the restarting of their big brother program, their sustainability-focused water party, Carroll Christmas, newlywed games amongst roommates and talks about verbalizing affection and toxic masculinity. 

Pasquerilla West Hall, inciting the evening’s most animated applause, took home Women’s Hall of the Year.

“[Pasquerilla West Hall] went above and beyond in cultivating resident growth and well-being with the creation of an incredible wellness room, spearheading a completed gym renovation, resilience training and a revamped statement of inclusion and corresponding allyship pledge,” Gouldin said.

“Unwavering commitment to developing and fostering the well-being of their residents in every aspect” elevated O’Neill Family Hall to the 2023 Hall of the Year.

“[O’Neill Family Hall] captured the interests of its residents across a multitude of different areas with events such as Mental Health Mondays, Caught in 4K and AcoustiCafe, while integrating themselves across campus with wildly creative events with the Kindness Club, through TikTok collaborations with other dorms and the Wonder Association,” Pugh said.

Next, Maureen Doyle, director of student centers, activities and events at SAO, and Harper doled out 10 Student Leadership Awards. SAO confers these awards annually to undergraduates who best exemplify the University’s spirit.

This year’s winners were Elijah Mustillo, Rose Nguyen, Jin Rui Cai, Camila Sanchez Siles, Billy Micard, Jill Maudlin, David Webster, Mary Grace Scartz, Patrick Lee and Sarah Wells.

To close the evening, the Division of Student Affairs honored nine seniors. M. Brian Coughlin, associate vice president for student development, turned over five awards, while vice president of student affairs Fr. Gerry Olinger imparted the last four.

Coughlin recognized Claire Reid with the Denny Moore Award for Excellence in Journalism. Blake Ziegler and Austin Wyman each received the Mike Russo Spirit Award. Schroeder earned her second accolade, the Ray Siegfried Award for Leadership Excellence. John Sexton won the John W. Gardner Student Leadership Award.

Olinger congratulated award recipients and thanked the audience before honoring the last few students.

“Thank you for the many ways you share your God-given gifts with this campus,” Olinger said. “We’re really excited for the ways that you will go out and be a force for good in the world and share those gifts with so many others as well.”

Olinger granted Grace Casper the Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C. Leadership Award. A Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. Award went to both Molly Doerfler and Nicholas Crookston.

Finally, Eliza Smith was named this year’s Rev. A. Leonard Collins, C.S.C. Award winner.

“I’d be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the impression she made on me,” Olinger said. “When I first became vice president for student affairs, she emailed me in the very first couple of weeks that I took over and started to engage with me in some really important conversations around celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. as a day off here at the University — a task that she and I completed,” Olinger said.

A performance of the University’s alma mater, “Notre Dame, Our Mother,” by the student a cappella group Halftime ended the ceremony.