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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

Saint Mary’s announces 2023 Outstanding Senior Award recipient

Senior Libbey Detcher was awarded the 2023 Outstanding Senior Award by the Alumnae Association Board of Directors at the annual Alumnae-Senior Champagne brunch Monday.

The Outstanding Senior Award is presented annually to a senior who “exemplifies the spirit and values of her school and is distinguished by scholarship, leadership and outstanding dedication to Saint Mary’s through participation in both curricular and extracurricular activities,” according to Eileen Gallagher Loranger, the president of the Alumnae Association Board of Directors.

Detcher will graduate with a major in political science and minors in justice studies, intercultural studies and one from the Hesburgh Program in Public Service at Notre Dame. She has a strong passion for political science.

“I really love politics and understanding public policy and just the way that the institutions work, I’ve always considered politics to be at its core collective decision making,” Detcher said.

During her time at Saint Mary’s, Detcher served as the president of the Political Science Club, co-leader of SMC Votes through the Office of the Common Good, an admissions ambassador, treasurer of Feminist United, co-chair of the Class Gift Campaign and a volunteer tutor at La Casa de Amistad.

In addition to her involvement in clubs and organizations, Detcher also served as a teaching assistant for the political science department and a department assistant for the justice studies program.

Detcher said she could not imagine the impact Saint Mary’s would have on her life when she enrolled.

“Saint Mary’s was honestly the best decision that I never knew I was making when I was 19 years old,” she said.

She initially planned on transferring after her first year, but grew to love the Saint Mary’s community.

“Ultimately, I planned on transferring to Notre Dame or at least trying to after freshman year, but it was the community and the people that kept me here. I’m so glad for that,” Detcher said. “The professors that always gave me the freedom of expression through my academic work, that really propelled a lot of the work that I did … Even the staff members that I’ve worked for or worked with, have always been so supportive, not just in me as a student, but in Libbey as a person.”

Detcher said she didn’t expect to attend an all-women’s college, but she has loved her time at one.

“Just being at an all-women’s college is something that I never thought that I would do, but it has been the best experience, just having the strong sense of community and belonging and friendship. It’s just been really unyielding over the last four years and I’m really appreciative for that,” she said.

Detcher plans on continuing her education through the Mendoza College of Business following graduation.

“Next year, I’ll be doing my master’s in nonprofit administration at the Mendoza College of Business … I’m hoping to gain a little bit of a business background that I think will be really applicable no matter what I do,“ she said.

Long term, Detcher is interested in working in a political advocacy role, such as lobbying.

“My options are kind of open as far as what I want to do,“ she said. “But I think Saint Mary’s made me realize that I really want to be an advocate and I really want to have a meaningful career.”

The Outstanding Senior Award is described as an award that “embodies the heart of Saint Mary’s,” while the valedictorian represents the mind and the Lumen Christi award recipient reflects the soul of Saint Mary’s, according to the College’s website.

Detcher said she is grateful for all that she has experienced during her time at Saint Mary’s.

“It’s really an honor and I’m very blessed to have received it … it really is a testament to the opportunities that Saint Mary’s has given me,” she said. “Saint Mary’s has given me a platform to speak on the things that I’m passionate about, they have refined my speaking and writing skills so I am able to advocate for voting rights and to advocate for myself as a woman.”