What a year it has been. Students have achieved more than anyone could have ever imagined; faculty have left their footprint on hearts and fueled dreams; and alumni have supported their alma mater through all the ups and downs. This year brought some of the greatest triumphs in our school’s history—and with them came great challenges. Saint Mary came together as one family in celebration and in loss. The mission of Saint Mary reached hundreds around the world and hundreds more right here in the local community. In 365 days, USM has grown, united, shared, grieved, loved, prayed, and become stronger.
2,000+ Points in 2016
Men’s Basketball Team had their first 2,000 point scorer in the history of the program. Guard Grant Greenberg of Leavenworth, Kan. hit his 2,000th point in the team’s upset win over #11 College of the Ozarks.
Grant is on track to be the state of Kansas’ all-time leading scorer. He’s chasing the 2,951
point record set by KU’s Danny Manning.
18th Lincoln Event Highlights Photography in Politics
The University of Saint Mary presented the 18th annual Lincoln
Event, “The First Visual Presidency: How Abraham Lincoln Used Photography for Politics.” David C. Ward, senior historian at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, explored the important role photography played in Abraham Lincoln’s political career and legacy.
All About Senior Success!
A total of 110 students attended Senior Success Day—a day dedicated to helping seniors transition to their next step after graduation. The day included a keynote called “Top of Mind: The Uphill Journey from Heart to Head” by John Hall, co-founder and CEO of Influence & Co.; a luncheon with faculty, staff, alumni, and recruiters participating as mock interviewers; a workshop from former Saint Mary Board of Trustee Irma Napoli on “Negotiating the Job Offer;” a graduation fair; and a station for professional headshots.
Living the Saint Mary Mission in Mexico!
Seven USM nursing students traveled to Puerto Peñasco, Mexico over Spring Break. Saint Mary senior Courtney McCoy shared a journal reflection on her service-learning trip:
“I have been on multiple mission trips throughout high school and college but this one was unlike any other. We were doing what seemed like the littlest tasks to us, but to them, it meant the world. Through the International Service Learning (ISL) program, our group provided the community with, what might be, their only access to healthcare. For us to take their vitals and provide basic care meant more to them than if we had given their community a million dollars. The amount of gratitude we saw is something that words can’t even describe. Every single person opened up their homes to us as if they lived in a mansion and had everything they could ever want or need when in reality, a majority of the community had what would be considered the bare minimum to survive.”
Another amazing night went down in history! USM celebrated the 13th anniversary of SpireFest, the largest annual scholarship fundraiser at the University of Saint Mary. SpireFest 2016 brought together over 400 guests— raising more than $180,000 for USM student scholarships.
Selected for Prestigious Steelcase Education Grant
Active learning classroom (now called the Active Learning Center) installed in De Paul Library
Serving the Local Community
As a part of the First Year Experience course, all freshman are required to complete a minimum of 15 service hours at an assigned community partner location. This year 128 freshman completed service—totaling 1,393 hours!
Congrats to the Class of 2016!
Saint Mary celebrated Commencement in the McGilley Field House. Families and friends, and USM faculty and staff gathered to congratulate 414 graduates—a group composed of 221 undergraduate degree recipients, 154 master’s degree recipients, and 39 doctoral degree recipients. Graduates hail from Kansas to California, from England to Kenya.
Spires Wrestling Program Announced
“It is an absolute honor to be named the first head wrestling coach at Saint Mary, I look forward to building a team that competes hard on the mat and performs exceptionally well in the classroom.”
– Head Coach Chuck Kearney, a seasoned Division I collegiate coach.
New Macs = New Possibilities
All Macs and Wacom tablets in Xavier 206 were replaced—along with being updated to the Creative Cloud (major advancement for USM art students).
Six teams qualify as NAIA scholar teams: men’s and women’s cross country, women’s indoor and outdoor track and field, women’s soccer, and softball. Teams must have a minimum 3.0 collective grade point average to earn the honor.
Sophomore Lydia Paterson, a biology major, competed at the Summer Olympics in Rio for 10m Air Pistol this August! She is now the youngest-ever Olympic pistol shooter in history.
Matriculation Ceremony Welcomes New Students
Saint Mary is one of only a handful of American universities with a formal matriculation ceremony. Among institutions of higher learning, the tradition of a matriculation ceremony dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries. USM began holding its version of the welcoming ceremony in the 1980s.
Today’s Enrollment Count:
• 986 students on main campus and Overland Park (705 undergraduate; 281 graduate)
• 1,362 total (main campus, Overland Park, online)
Named a Five-Star Champions of Character institution with gold status by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). USM is one of only 19 schools (out of more than 250 colleges and universities) to earn gold status this year!
Named a “Best Midwestern College” by the Princeton Review* for the 12th Straight Year.
All Things Animals!
Art Program Director Shelby Prindaville was selected to for a prestigious exhibit at Boston Children’s Museum called “All Things Animals!” This mixed-media exhibit created a space inviting and welcoming its young visitors to look at, identify, walk, talk, and play like the animals in the gallery.
Traveling Back in Time …
Sr. Rosie Kolich, chair of the English, language, and digital communications department, revived a tradition of taking English majors to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival in Bonner Springs.
Celebrating the Life of Marcus Mondaine
A classmate, a teammate, a friend, a son, a brother—on Oct. 1, Marcus Mondaine was taken from this world too soon by a senseless act of violence.
Marcus was a giving and friendly 23-year-old just weeks away from graduation in the Health Information Management program at Saint Mary. He was a straight “A” student who cherished his family and had an incredible love for basketball. He was unselfish and kind, both on and off the court—and described by his classmates as one of the nicest people they’d ever met.
“Everybody loved him around campus,”
– Grant Greenberg, Spires Basketball Teammate
“Marcus was a great kid. He was humble; he was quiet; he loved his teammates; and he loved putting that jersey on.”
-Troy Brown, Head Coach
The USM community gathered to mourn this loss with the Mondaine family—while also celebrating and cherishing the 23 years of memories made with Marcus.
The basketball team will dedicate this season to him, and Marcus’ aunt, Tracy Moore, reminded the group, “I want each of you to know to keep running up and down the court as if Marcus is running with you—because he is; he’s running with you.”
Impacting the World
The Global Health class raised $1,167.40 in support of the Sister of Charity of Leavenworth Water Filter Project. That’s enough to fund more than 20 filters (each produce around 1,000,000 gallons of water) for a school in Peru.
El Día de Los Muertos Celebrated
This event honored the memory of passed loved ones. Students decorated altars with pictures, mementos, and flowers, while enjoying pan dulce and hot chocolate. A special documentary by award winning director Lourdes Portillo called “La Ofrenda” was also shown.
What a Football Season!
Following a school best 8-3 football season (five-win improvement from 2015), including a tie for second place in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC), the Spires were honored with 17 All-KCAC Honorees—including a Coach of the Year recognition going to Jay Osborne, U’14.
Historical Finish at the NAIA Cross Country Championships
• Women’s cross country took 28th in the country (a record best!).
• Men’s cross country finished 14th—led by NAIA All-Americans junior Tony Weber and junior Christian Graham
Honor Society of Nursing Recognized by Prestigious Sigma Theta Tau International
Special Delivery for Burundi!
Junior Nishimwe Maria-Goreth, born in Burundi, mailed three full boxes of donated school supplies to Burundi’s Youths of Tomorrow organization. The collection was supported by Accounting Professor Jessica Vega-Anaya and her accounting students.
Preparing Our Hearts for Christmas
USM Gathered as a family to bless the Nativity.