The Gregorian Institute Shield, composed of the crossed gold and silver keys of the Papal Insignia, an open book with the words 'Via Veritas Vita' ('The Way, the Truth, and the Life') written on its pages, three golden six-sided stars on a red banner, and a Germanic cross.

at BENEDICTINE COLLEGE

Valedictorian Mashup Reveals Powerful Message

The Benedictine mission of community, faith and scholarship transformed culture in Europe at the dawn of Western Civilization and Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, believes it can do the same in America today. To Transform Culture in America, Benedictine College plans to Form its students deeply in the mission, Advance its mission through alumni in every walk of life, and Extend its mission regionally and nationally.

It’s hard to get a 4.0 grade point average in college — never earning so much as a single A-minus. But eight students at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, representing the classes of 2020 and 2021, did just that.

Benedictine College’s commencement ceremony celebrated two class years, and honored alumnus Bishop Andrew Cozzens who heads the U.S. bishops’ committee on evangelization, as well as Kansas City-Kan. Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who is the U.S. bishops’ pro-life leader.

But each valedictorian spoke briefly also. Watch a mash-up of their beautiful speeches into one above or here, on YouTube. Below, see the contribution of each. Their names and words follow:

Hannah Tichy, class of 2021, an elementary education major from Gravois Mills, Mo., says:

I want to start by thanking God for the gift of being here together today and for all his goodness and his love and for all the times and memories we’ve lived at Benedictine College.

Christopher Rziha, class of 2021, a Theology, Spanish and Philosophy Major from Atchison, Kansas, says:

My dear friends, I consider myself blessed beyond words simply to be in the company of so many outstanding individuals.

Sabrina Poston, class of 2020, a Finance and Accounting major from Normal, Ill., says:

Looking back at our Benedictine College experience just kind of makes me realize how important these memories that we make in our lives can be.

Matthew Krishnan Myjak, class of 2021, an Electrical Engineering and Computer Science major from Hillsboro, Ore., says:

So let’s look back on these past four years — or five, in my case. I’m an old guy.

Danielle Rumsey, class of 2021, a Biology Major from Round Rock, Texas, says:

I was inspired by the way the Benedictine College community lived with such purpose in the everyday things. That taught me how you loved others through your small daily encounters.

Hannah Tichy adds:

We didn’t get to this point by doing only great things, but by living every day greatly. And today we can finally say that we made it.

Dainiel Fortino, class of 2020, a Math and Secondary Education Major from Olathe, Kansas, says:

Doing the things that we loved here with the people that we loved here — hold tight to those moments. You’ll often find yourself going back to them.

Emma Girton, class of 2021, a Theology and Music Major from Clay Center, Kansas, says:

I really just can’t believe that I got to be here, and do these great things and be in this great place. So, thank you so much for loving me and for loving one another.

Nicholas Brose, a class of 2020, a Biology Major from Dunlop, Ill., says:

So go out into the world. Take what Benedictine has taught you and spread that mission into a culture that desperately needs it.

Unnamed voices in the video conclude:

And remember that God is walking every little step with you until the rest of your life.

Be better than you were yesterday and move forward always forward.

Forward, always forward — and always Ravens.


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Benedictine College

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Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.