Photo by Lee Pellegrini
Lauren Wedell, a Carroll School of Management Honors Program student who has excelled in academics, athletics, and leadership, received the Edward H. Finnegan, S.J., Award at the University’s 141st Commencement Exercises on May 22.
The Finnegan Award, which was presented by University President William P. Leahy, S.J., is given annually to the graduating senior who best exemplifies Boston College’s motto “Ever to Excel.”
(Read about the finalists for this year's Finnegan Award here.)
“I’m really honored,” said Wedell, who grew up in Arden Hills, Minn. and arrived at BC not knowing anyone. “I’ve met so many people at BC who are so well-rounded and have done such amazing things. To even be in that category is really an honor.”
“Every day I walk through the quad amazed at how lucky I am to be here,” continued Wedell. “I’m leaving with this great network and great friendships, having met so many amazing mentors and taken really eye-opening classes. I feel super fortunate to have been able to go to BC.”
Wedell is a member of the Jesuit honor society, Alpha Sigma Nu, and the business honor society, Beta Gamma Sigma. She graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in finance and business analytics.
In his nomination letter, Carroll School Senior Associate Dean Richard Keeley praised Wedell’s intellectual ability and her work as a teaching assistant in his class on business ethics.
“Lauren is esteemed within the Carroll School by students, faculty, and administrators alike,” he wrote.
Last year, Wedell received the Kevin M. Eidt Memorial Scholarship, awarded to the CSOM Honors Program junior who has demonstrated a unique combination of academic achievement, character, leadership, and school spirit.
A summer course in Venice led by Keeley, Globalization, Culture and Ethics, proved to be a formational experience for Wedell. Not only did it afford her an international experience that would not have been possible during the school year due to her athletic commitments, it also deepened her interest in business ethics.
“It ended up weaving throughout the rest of my four years,” she said.
She won awards at three International Business Ethics Case Competitions and served as an ambassador for BC's Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics, promoting and working at events.
“Lauren is esteemed within the Carroll School by students, faculty, and administrators alike.” –Carroll School Senior Associate Dean Richard Keeley
Like many Minnesotans, Wedell donned her first pair of skates at a very young age. She went on to play hockey, following in the footsteps on her grandfathers, her father, and her older sister.
During Wedell’s first two years at BC she played on the Women’s Ice Hockey team, earning Hockey East Academic All-Star honors in 2014 and 2015. Her junior year, she made a switch to the fledging Women’s Club Ice Hockey team and served as the club’s president and captain for 2016-17. The team –- which was only formed in 2014 -- competed in nationals this year, earning them BC’s Ever to Excel Student Organization of the Year Award.
“[Hockey] is fun,” said Wedell. “I love being on a team. It’s been a part of my life for such a long time.”
Beyond getting her competitive juices flowing, skating and hockey also have enabled Wedell to give back to the community. She has skated with participants in the Newton Special Athletes program, and, as a varsity player, took part in Skate with the Eagles, charitable events with the East Coast Jumbos team of athletes with developmental disabilities, and the sled hockey team from the Massachusetts Hospital School.
She also has served the community off the ice, as a four-year participant in the CSOM Honors Program’s First Serve initiative, volunteering at sites such as the Women’s Lunch Place and Boston Rescue Mission.
“Every day I walk through the quad amazed at how lucky I am to be here. I’m leaving with this great network and great friendships, having met so many amazing mentors and taken really eye-opening classes. I feel super fortunate to have been able to go to BC.”–Lauren Wedell '17
Since high school, Wedell has been involved with Head Huggers, an organization that provides handmade hats to people who have lost their hair while undergoing cancer treatment. It was a service project well-suited for Wedell, who as a busy student-athlete could not commit to specific hours at a volunteer site, but could knit hats and send them off to the organization to deliver to patients. She has continued this volunteer work at BC and estimates that she has knit about 75 hats to date.
Wedell cites as mentors Keeley and CSOM Associate Dean Ethan Sullivan, as well as Michael Barry in the Finance Department and her instructor in BC's Perspectives program, Jason Donnelly.
She will remain in Boston, working in the technology division of William Blair, an investment banking and wealth management firm.
Asked about the impact of BC experience, Wedell said, “It’s made me more reflective. The motto ‘being men and women for others’ is something I’m going to try to cultivate when I’m working and busy. I’ll try to find time to volunteer or coach a team.”
She also noted “the relationships I’ve made with my roommates and close friends in the honors program. I can already tell they’re going to last--hopefully forever.”
Finally, Wedell cited the importance of something she called “the BC connection.”
“Whenever any alumni meet, there is always something to talk about. Everyone always has such great memories. I live in the Mods and when people come through, they always want to talk about the Mod they lived in,” she laughed.
–Kathleen Sullivan | University Communications