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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

Stephanie Nunez 53.jpeg

Holy Cross College names 2024 valedictorian

Holy Cross College senior Carmen “Stephanie“ Nunez will serve as this year’s valedictorian, the College announced on its website. Nunez, a South Bend native, is a visual arts major and an elementary education minor. 

Applying to college during the confusion of the COVID-19 pandemic was a difficult experience, Nunez recalled, but Holy Cross emerged as the right place for her at that moment.

“Holy Cross was an option for me since I lived locally and had experienced the campus’ unique sense of community when I attended Saints & Scholars in the summer,” Nunez said.

Although Nunez has always had an interest in art, she decided to pursue the major only after taking 20 credit hours in a number of subjects in her first semester freshman year. By the end of the semester, she had narrowed her choices down to visual arts and elementary education, but ended up choosing visual arts and pursuing a minor in elementary education due to the heavy course load of an elementary education major.

Throughout her experience at Holy Cross, Nunez cited her arts courses and her time as an RA during her junior year as some of her favorite experiences. Above all, though, Nunez emphasized her personal relationships as the most important part of her experience.

“I would say that the friendships I have made and the experiences I have shared with them have been the most precious to me,” Nunez said. “This semester I have especially enjoyed going on walks with my roommate and going to Spanish mass together.” 

Nunez said the transition from freshman to sophomore year was somewhat difficult for her as she had moved off campus and found it difficult to be a part of the community on campus. Despite this, she stressed she was able to find a stable support system.

Although Nunez said she has not yet finalized her plans after graduation, she plans on applying to teaching positions or working with community organizations. At the same time, she said she wants to continue pursuing her love for art.

“I want to eventually enroll into an MFA program along the way which would qualify me to teach at the collegiate level,” she explained.

In her valedictory speech, Nunez says she plans to emphasize “the importance of relationships” in building communities.

“Being intentional in building relationships modeled after Christ’s love can go a long way in making any place or person feel like home,” Nunez said. “I feel that I have found this sense of home at Holy Cross through my peers, professors and staff.”

Nunez will give her address during commencement at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 18.