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Students Recognized at Annual Michaelmas Celebration

Family, faculty and friends cheered for their peers’ accomplishments at the Michaelmas Convocation on Wednesday, September 29 at St. Aedan’s: The Saint Peter’s University Church. The annual Michaelmas Convocation is an event that celebrates impressive student accomplishments. These students have been working hard since they started at Saint Peter’s to maintain high GPAs and strive for the Magis. The Michaelmas Convocation ceremony follows the medieval tradition of convening the faculty and students to start the term and is celebrated in the honor of the feast of the archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. At this year’s event, Steven Llanes, Esq. ’02, attorney at Lowenstein Sandler LLP, provided the keynote address. Students received achievement awards in all academic areas, including the sciences, arts and business.

During the convocation, 10 seniors are inducted into the oldest and most distinguished honors society at Saint Peter’s, the Most Noble Order of the Peacock (MNOP), for attaining the highest scholastic average in all courses throughout their first three years at the University. The students inducted into this year’s MNOP society include Eliany Pedraza ’18, Gabriele Bandelli ’18, Christian Resurreccion ’18, Thomas Calloni ’18, Christopher Micak ’18, Natzuki Pozo ’18, Nicholas Brown ’18, Celina Marzullo ’18, Marvin Guevane ’18 and Felicia Firmin ’18. Many other students were awarded scholarships, and students in honors societies were recognized.

Students and attendees also had the opportunity to hear an inspirational keynote from the convocation speaker, Llanes.

Lllanes is the son of immigrants and the grandson of a political prisoner who left Cuba for the freedoms and opportunities of the United States. As a young boy, he developed a passion for American civics; guided by that passion, Llanes received a full-academic scholarship to Saint Peter’s where he earned a degree in political science and communication and was inducted into the Most Noble Order of the Peacock. Around the time of his induction, he witnessed the 9/11 attacks first-hand and resolved to commit himself to prepare for a career in public service. He went on to attend the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and then work for the newly created U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He eventually returned to New Jersey, where he practices law, is active in church and is raising his family.

During his address, Llanes spoke about the American dream and how being a son of immigrants shaped his future. Llanes stressed the importance of embracing diversity, “If we are to truly move forward, we must do so by recognizing and promoting the diversities of our communities.”

Speaking to the concept of Magis, Llanes stated, “You are never too young to lead and you are never too young to serve.”

After the ceremony, award recipients and their families gathered in The Duncan Family Sky Room for a celebratory lunch. At the lunch, faculty and staff spoke to the amazing accomplishments of the MNOP awardees.

To view photos from the event, click here.