The annual Benedictine Convocation began with a first this year as President Stephen Minnis presented the first annual Transforming Culture in America Award. 

Zyon Mathis, Obediah Lewis and Solomon Wallace were honored for their work this past summer during an internship that involved them with inner city youth in Boston Massachusetts.   

Traditionally, the event signals the end of freshmen orientation and the start of the new academic year.

Photo by Will Russum
Freshman enter the Ralph-Nolan Gymnasium for Convocation. Photo by: Will Russum

This year’s keynote speaker was Montse Alvarado. She is Vice President and Executive Director of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.  

During her speech, Alvarado emphasized the importance of integrating prayer, and learning from one’s experience.  

“It’s in our greatest failures and our most significant triumphs that God stretches out his hand. Let Him and only Him define your worth,” Alvarado said.  

Nick Koval, freshman studying physics engineering, really valued Alvarado’s message and took a lot from it. 

“Her background and everything that she had about religious freedom is totally relevant to catholic college students, so that was fun to hear her perspective and everything she had to say,” Koval said. 

Students remove beanies.                    Photo by: Will Russum

Now that the convocation and beanie week has ended, freshmen, like Bethany Harris, are starting to settle in and get more comfortable around campus. 

“Now it’s time to get into a routine and you’re not a little special freshman anymore. You’re a student and you have responsibilities,” Harris said.