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May 23, 2014                                                                                      Tricia M. Oliver





Worcester, MA Anna Maria College President Jack P. Calareso, Ph.D., and Vice President for Student Success and Dean of Retention Andrew O. Klein honored three undergraduates with awards of distinction at the College’s 65th Commencement on Saturday, May 17. Class of 2014 members Ernest Brooks, Emily A. Williamson and Nicole Harvell were recognized as the recipients of the Bishop Timothy J. Harrington Award, the Dr. Bernadette Madore Award for Academic Excellence and the inaugural Sr. Yvette Bellerose Award, respectively.

Harrington Award

Bachelor of Science in Fire Science recipient Ernest Brooks ‘14, of Nashua, NH, was presented the Harrington Award for his commitment to community. Named in honor of the late Bishop Timothy J. Harrington and established in 1988, the award is presented to a student who exemplifies compassionate service in the promotion of peace and justice.

“There is no limit to this person’s definition of community,” said Klein before presenting the award to Brooks. According to Klein, Brooks was widely recognized by his peers and others for his compassionate manner and selfless sense of service. His AMC career included four years of community service involvement, both on and off campus, including the AMC Habitat for Humanity and service-centered spring breaks around the country.

Madore Award

Bachelor of Arts in History graduate Emily A. Williamson ’14, of Spencer, MA, was the recipient of the Madore Award. Created in honor of former president and longtime AMC administrator Dr. Bernadette Madore, the award is bestowed upon the graduate who earned the highest cumulative grade point average in a minimum of 90 semester hours.

“In additional to her stellar academic performance, this student is also a student athlete competing during an illustrious career at AMC,” said Calareso before honoring Williamson. Calareso also mentioned that her academic excellence came in concert with an “extraordinary work ethic,” as she balanced tennis competition, two work-study positions at AMC and significant work commitments off campus. At the time of graduation, Williamson attained a 3.95 GPA, which will likely improve once all grades have been posted, according to Calareso.

Bellerose Award

Whereas the Harrington and Madore Awards are longstanding honors presented annually, the Bellerose Award was first announced at Commencement and was presented in honor of Sr. Yvette E. Bellerose, S.S.A. ’72, who served as the Commencement Speaker at Saturday’s ceremony. She is the outgoing chairwoman of the AMC Board of Trustees, an alumna, as well as a former faculty member and administrator at AMC. The award is presented to a student who has embodied the values and commitment to the Anna Maria College mission as exhibited by Sr. Bellerose. In addition to a commitment to the Catholic faith, the recipient must display academic excellence, a commitment to the Anna Maria College community and a commitment to the greater community.

Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Studies graduate Nicole Harvell ’14, of Shrewsbury, MA, was the inaugural recipient of the Bellerose Award. Harvell attained a GPA of 3.79 and is engaged in multiple programs and initiatives at AMC, most notably the college’s Day of Caring. She also serves in the Greater Worcester community in many ways, including volunteer work with her church. Harvell delivered the student address at Commencement and spoke to the strong sense of community on AMC’s campus.

The awardees are three of the 427 graduates who comprise the AMC Class of 2014. A total of 239 undergraduates and 188 graduate students received their degrees this year. More than 40 percent of the Class of 2014 reigns from Central Massachusetts and nearly one-third of AMC’s traditional (excluding online degree students) undergraduates is first-generation college graduates.

Anna Maria College is a private, co-educational institution founded in 1946 by the Sisters of St. Anne. With an annual enrollment of 1,500 students, the college prides itself on providing a values-based, service-focused liberal arts education. AMC has grown to offer 40 undergraduate majors, as well as many graduate and certificate programs, both on-ground and online. The small student-faculty ratio allows for a highly personalized learning experience, while the modest class and campus size allow for optimal student involvement. The college offers 17 Division III, varsity-level athletic programs for men and women. AMC’s campus is conveniently located just minutes away from Worcester, MA on 192 acres in Paxton.