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Lauren Fadely, third from left, winner of the Edward H. Finnegan, SJ, Memorial Award, with other award candidates (L-R) Meghan Battle, Pilar Landon, Kerri McNicholas and Robert Kubala. (Photo by Christopher Huang)

CSON’s Fadely Earns Finnegan Award

Lauren “Elle” Fadely honored with Boston College’s top Commencement honor as the winner of this year’s Edward H. Finnegan, SJ, Memorial Award
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By Ed Hayward | Chronicle Staff
Connell School of Nursing student Lauren “Elle” Fadely was honored with Boston College’s top Commencement honor as the winner of this year’s Edward H. Finnegan, SJ, Memorial Award, which recognizes the senior who best exemplifies the University’s motto “Ever to Excel.”

Fadely’s experience in caring for the needy dates back to her childhood, which she spent aboard vessels of the Mercy Ships charity, floating hospitals ferrying caregivers and supplies to some of the poorest communities in Central America and the Caribbean. Her parents joined the non-governmental organization when she was four and continue to serve today.

Fadely selflessly shared her personal experiences and a “deep level of service and dedication to international health care” with her professors and classmates.

“Elle has brought this lived experience to Boston College, and with her earnest approach of devotion to her class, has exposed her peers to the broader global reality through her own dedication to global health initiatives,” said CSON Associate Dean Catherine Read.

Faculty praised Fadely for her stellar academic record, exceptional research contributions and a selfless commitment to helping her classmates succeed by leading capacity-crowd tutoring and study sessions.

“Elle has worked with students who are struggling with the medical disease diagnosis and treatment content and test taking, and been able to successfully build their confidence and nurture their growth in learning the material,” said Clinical Asst. Prof. Stacey Barone (CSON).

Fadely plans to pursue graduate studies in midwifery and public health, with an emphasis on international public health initiatives.


Robert J. Kubala: Philosophy and German studies major; Presidential Scholar; member of the College of Arts and Sciences Honors Program. One of two BC students this year to receive a prestigious George Marshall Scholarship to study in the United Kingdom for the next two years. A founding editor of the undergraduate journal Dialogue, musical director for the 2007 production of “A New Brain,” a participant in service trips to Nicaragua and the Gulf Coast, a retreat leader and pianist and organist for the Liturgy Arts Group.  Winner of the Peter Gray Award for Outstanding Creativity in Psychology and Advanced Study Grant awards that took him to Germany, where he translated the work of anatomist and psychologist Gustav Fritsch, and to Iceland to study language and culture.

“Only a handful of students – and I mean that literally, no more than five – among the three decades-worth of extremely talented undergraduates with whom I’ve had the privilege to share the seminar table have been comparably gifted,” said Mark O’Connor, director of the A&S Honors Program.

Meghan M. Battle: International studies and human development major, minor in theology. Active in Invisible Children of Uganda, Pedro Arrupe International Immersion Program, Boston’s GuluWalk and Boston’s Global Night Commute. A Non-Profit Summer Internship Grant took her to Cambodia and a Church Ministry Internship Grant enabled her work with abandoned children in Swaziland.
Won the Senior Leader Award and the Nicholas H. Woods Leadership Award as a freshman. Has been appointed as director of the Women’s Well-Being Initiative at the Romero Community Center in Battambang, Cambodia.

“Meg’s unending quest for the knowledge and experiences to improve the lives of others is awe-inspiring,” said Prof. Jacqueline V. Lerner (LSOE).

Kerri A. McNicholas: Finance and operations and strategic management major, minor in Hispanic studies; Carroll School of Management Honors Program. A four-year member of the women’s soccer team and captain in her junior and senior years. Selected as Class of 2009 Female Student Athlete of the Year. Led team visits to local hospitals and schools as a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Oversaw a group of 10 students on a service trip to Nicaragua in March that focused on micro-finance programs.

“Kerri has excelled as a student, as a leader among her peers, and as a contributor to larger communities, both local and far removed,” said CSOM Associate Dean Richard Keeley. “To be an honors student and a Hispanic studies minor and a Division I athlete is no small feat.”

Pilar C. Landon: Biology major; Presidential Scholar. Service activities locally and abroad, campus admissions program guide and writer, news editor and editor-in-chief of The Heights, where she supervised 38 editors and more than 200 contributors. Studied abroad in Australia, Spain and France and made a service trip to Ireland. Landon, who is considering a career in law, will join Teach for America in Chicago this summer.

“Pilar is an extraordinary young woman and her many achievements reach far beyond the newspaper… she has embraced student leadership and high academic achievement from the very beginning,” said Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Sheilah Shaw Horton.

Ed Hayward can be reached at