Each year, during Brescia University’s Founder’s Week there is a tradition of recognizing one male and one female student who possess in remarkable ways the spirit of Saint Angela Merici. Angela Merici was a leader in great and small ways and touched the lives of many. She is responsible for the formation of the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph who founded Brescia University in 1950.
This year, Stephanie Wall, a senior studying English from Owensboro, Kentucky and Preye Agbana, a senior working towards a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Port-Harcourt, Nigeria, were nominated and chosen to receive this honor.
Saint Angela attracted people from all walks of life; rich and poor, nobility and common folk, learned and uneducated. She is often noted for her hospitality, her healthy sense of self in relationship to God and others, her contemplative spirit while being involved in the world and her ability to be a reconciler and peacemaker.
Any member of the Brescia family (Students, Faculty, Staff, and Administrators) had the opportunity to nominate a Brescia student to receive the “Spirit of Angela Award.”
Stephanie was described as exemplifying servant leadership in her many role on and off campus.
“She is always welcoming to students and families in any situation I have seen her in,” said Keith Hudson, chair of the Spirit of Angela Committee said. “Stephanie always encourages others to live a happy, joyful life and her smile and personality is contagious. To me, Stephanie embodies every quality of Saint Angela and always respects others and helps when they are in need.”
In addition to her many roles on campus, Stephanie also enjoys being Barney the Bearcat for various events, something Hudson mentioned that Brescia would miss about Stephanie as she graduates this May.
“I treat people the way I would like to be treated,” Wall said. “There is nothing more precious or sacred than human life because humans are made in the image and likeness of God, therefore should be treated with the utmost respect. Brescia has been a wonderful partner in helping me grow as a person. Not only do we have a commitment to continue learning academically, our hearts must grow as well.”
Hudson highlighted the servant leadership of Preye in his work as a peer student tutor for the Ursuline Center for Teaching and Learning.
“He focuses on the needs of his students during his tutoring sessions to help them with the material they need assistance with. Preye is a well-rounded young man who demonstrates the Spirit of Saint Angela and the Brescia Difference. While maintaining a 4.0 GPA, Preye is captain of the Men’s Soccer team, a young adult fellowship leader, a member of Alpha Chi, he was nominated to the 2016 Homecoming Court, and during the 2014-2015 academic year, he was named a Scholar Athlete,” said Hudson.
“The Brescia Difference is more than a motto to me; it is a guiding principle that has led me thus far to the culmination of my years at Brescia,” said Agbana. “It has steered me on to meet the high academic standards I have set for myself, while also taking part and taking up leadership positions to serve others. When I look around and see how many people have helped me to get this far, it inspires me to become successful so that I can help others. Our Lord Jesus commanded us to love; Love is action, there getting to a point where I can emanate this actionable love is what give my life meaning and purpose. I have become a more virtuous person thanks to the Brescia Difference.”
Along with the “Spirit of Angela” recipients, a number of other student leaders were also recognized for their service to the Brescia community:
Student Activities Program Board, Savannah Stivers (Marysville, IN)
Student Government Association, Cameron Robinson (White Plains, KY)
Women’s Tennis, Naruemon Wiriyachon (Prince Frederick MD)
Men’s Tennis, Hector Horcajada (Madrid, Spain)
Student Ambassador, Kaylee Crawley (Louisville, KY)
Women’s Soccer, Victoria King (Radcliff, KY)
Brescia Arts, Cheyenne Bennett (Utica, KY),
Honors College, Daniel Steele (Bardstown, KY),
Softball, Shelby Franklin (Franklin, KY)
Men’s Basketball, Dillon Geralds (Tompkinsville, KY),
Women’s Basketball, Catherine Dunn (Portland, IN)
Political Science Club, Justin Maloney (Lebanon, TN)
Career Services, Nickole Durbin (Mascoutah, IL)
First Year Experience Peer Educator, Adam Hayden (Maceo, KY)
Volleyball, Courtney Reels (Bowling Green, KY)
Residence Life, Icces Wilcox (Owensboro, KY)
Ichabod Society, Leah Armstrong (Bowling Green, KY)
Men’s Cross Country & Track/Field, Kyle Robinson (Henderson, KY)
Women’s Cross Country & Track/Field, Makenzie Jackson (Owensboro, KY)
Orientation Leader, Shelby Nelson (Nolensville, TN)
Orientation Leader, Nathan Huff (Philpot, KY).