San Antonio – To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, the founder of the Society of Mary, St. Mary’s University is honoring Chaminade’s dedication to education and service by recognizing a group of outstanding students and a distinguished alumnus.

Chaminade called for Marianist institutions to educate for the formation in faith; provide an integral quality education; educate in the family spirit; educate for service, justice and peace; and educate for adaptation and change. St. Mary’s is honoring those principles during the “Year of Chaminade.”

At the annual President’s Dinner for University benefactors and friends held on Nov. 12, Charles L. Cotrell, Ph.D. introduced 11 students designated as Chaminade Anniversary Scholars. Juniors from each of St. Mary’s three undergraduate schools who’ve excelled academically were chosen to receive a $2,500 scholarship for use in the upcoming spring semester – $2,500 celebrating 250 years! The Chaminade Anniversary Scholarship was made possible through the generous contributions of members of the St. Mary’s University Board of Trustees – whose annual gifts were earmarked for these awards.

The Chaminade Anniversary Scholars are:

  • Stephanie Annor (Biology major), Houston
  • Jake Becerra (History major), San Antonio
  • Lidia Ceniceros (International Business and Marketing major), Phoenix
  • Amanda Chavez (Biology major), El Paso
  • Christopher Childree (Political Science major), San Antonio
  • Caleb Diaz (History major), San Antonio
  • Yaritza Flores (Political Science major), San Antonio
  • Emily Flowers (Early Childhood Teacher Education major), Helotes
  • Arthur Furlong (Biology major), McAllen
  • Monique Mendoza (Mathematics major), El Paso
  • Jared Selman (Criminal Justice major), Houston

Along with education, St. Mary’s mission also calls for a commitment to community service. In naming the first-ever Living the Chaminade Legacy Award recipient, President Cotrell chose an alumnus whose beliefs and actions reflect the Marianist mission of academic excellence, ethical commitment, servant leadership and community building.

Jack Paul Leon, a 1959 School of Law graduate, was also honored with the Living the Chaminade Legacy Award. His professional accomplishments include listing in Martindale – Hubble’s Register of Prominent Attorneys, as well as Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in Law in the Southwest, and Who’s Who in Law in Texas. Leon’s support for St. Mary’s mission and Chaminade’s dedication to education is evident in his service at the School of Law as an adjunct instructor and, many times, as a judge at Moot Court competitions. He has served on the St. Mary’s Board of Trustees, including as Secretary, and as President of the Law Alumni Association. In 1986, Leon was named the St. Mary’s Distinguished Law Graduate and, this past year, he was honored with the School of Law’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Devoted to his faith community, Leon is an active member of St. George Maronite Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus.

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