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Loyola honors 5 outstanding graduates, including an aspiring Benedictine monk

Loyola press release - May 5, 2014

Chad Aubert, who graduates next week from Loyola University New Orleans, is preparing for a life as a Benedictine monk. Although he is setting out on an uncommon path, drastically different from his fellow classmates, his commitment to faith and devotion to represent Loyola with honor and distinction are qualities that he shares with the four other 2014 Ignatian Award recipients—the highest award for graduating seniors.

Aubert, along with graduates Margaret Leigh Boyer, Savannah Logan and Antonina Stewart, will be presented with the awards at the Baccalaureate Mass Friday, May 9 at 4 p.m. in the University Sports Complex. Kelsey A. Eagan will be presented with her award at the College of Law Mass Thursday, May 8 at 3:30 p.m. in Holy Name of Jesus Church. The awards are given annually to those students who represent the university’s commitment to Ignatian values.

The 2014 award winners are:

The Outstanding Ignatian Senior Man award goes to Aubert, who is graduating magna cum laude with university honors and will pursue a life as a Benedictine monk after graduation. His honors thesis focused on pilgrims who have dedicated their lives solely to God. At Loyola, he has served as rector with the Awakening Retreat and Community, a program of University Ministry, and has also been an active participant in Christian Life Communities, Loyola Life, Alpha Sigma Nu and Loyola’s Honors Program.

Logan is the recipient of the Outstanding Ignatian Senior Woman award. She is a double major in computational math and modern languages and cultures and is a 2014-15 Fulbright U.S. Student Award recipient. Logan said her faith was strengthened while working in schools in Jamaica with Ignacio Volunteers and tutoring at the NET Charter School. She also joined Christian Life Communities at Loyola, became rector of the Awakening Retreat and Community and became more heavily involved in service.

As a graduate student pursuing a master’s in clinical mental health counseling, Margaret Leigh Boyer, who is one of two Outstanding Ignatian Graduate Students, has demonstrated outstanding performance through research assistantships in several settings, including Loyola’s Department of Counseling, the FBI and the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center. Additionally, she has been involved with the Loyola chapter of Active Minds, a national organization that brings awareness to mental health issues on college campuses. She also coordinated a volunteer event to serve dinner at the New Orleans Mission, a local faith-based shelter that houses up to 60 homeless men a night.

Antonina Stewart, also an Outstanding Ignatian Graduate Student award recipient pursuing a master’s in clinical mental health counseling, is a graduate assistant in the Department of Counseling. She is also currently completing a clinical internship at Family Service of Greater New Orleans where she provides mental health services. Over the last few years, Stewart has initiated and led numerous service opportunities, including a walk in 2013 for the National Alliance on Mental Illness and drives to collect needed items for the Salvation Army and other community members.

Expected to graduate in the top of her law class this year (placing fourth), the Spirit of St. Ignatius Award for Outstanding Law Graduate recipient Kelsey A. Eagan has made immense contributions to the Loyola community. She has volunteered with Covenant House, Catholic Charities Adopt a Family for Christmas, Habitat for Humanity and has also traveled to Saltillo, Mexico, for several mission trips. She has been an active St. Thomas More Inn of Court member, participating in meetings with members of the judiciary and the bar, discussing issues of ethics and professionalism through continuing legal education. She is also a member of the Law Review and the National Moot Court team.

For more information about the award, contact Loyola’s Office of Mission and Ministry at 504-865-3226.