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Bailey O’Hare and Maxwell Champa were named the 2019 Outstanding Male and Female Seniors during Saint Mary’s Founder’s Day Convocation on Tuesday, March 12.

In her acceptance speech, O’Hare expressed her congratulations to the other nominees, whom she said are just as deserving and even more so than herself. The main theme of her speech was community. She feels as though “there was always someone there to help.” She said, “Fortunately, I have impeccable guidance to prepare me to support the current and future members of the Saint Mary’s community.”

Champa similarly congratulated the other nominees, calling them “exceptional in [their] own right.” He expressed his thanks to family, friends, professors, and other faculty and staff at Saint Mary’s. He concluded his speech by saying that he is “not entirely a huge fan of this award.” He said, “I believe that everybody is outstanding, everyone in this room, everyone on the live stream. They might not meet the criteria that got me up here today, but everybody has something. It could be sports, it could be teaching, leadership or creativity, or it might just be being the best you that you can be.”

Champa is a triple major in business intelligence and analytics, marketing, and management from Bloomington, Minnesota. He is currently president of club soccer and an RA and has participated in various intramurals. He does a lot of work in the Student Success Center as a tutor and peer learning assistant. He also does some business intelligence work for Joe Dulak, director of learning assistance at Saint Mary’s, and is a part of the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies on campus.

Upon graduation, Champa says that he is taking graduate classes at Saint Mary’s Twin Cities campus. There’s “nothing set in stone yet, but things are on the horizon, that’s for sure,” Champa said. Parting words for Saint Mary’s and future students include, “Find your passions and do well and be outstanding in them every single day. Thank you, Saint Mary’s, and roll cards.”

O’Hare is a biology major from Rushford, Minnesota. She is currently president of the Culture of Life club, treasurer for Buddies, and secretary for Tri Beta. She has participated in various intramurals and went on a S.O.U.L. Trip to Browning, MT. She is “extremely grateful and honored” for the recognition of Outstanding Senior and feels “deeply blessed” by the Saint Mary’s community.

Some parting words from her include a heartfelt thank you to each member of Saint Mary’s. Her advice for future students is “take chances and allow yourself the opportunity for growth. Even though you may fail, you can always fail forward and learn from your experiences. The beauty of [Saint Mary’s] community is that there is always someone there to pick you back up.” O’Hare is looking to medical school and will be doing research at Mayo Clinic upon graduation.

The other 2019 Outstanding Female and Male Seniors are Tatiana Jones, Marissa Kinzer, Erin McCoy, Laura Sonday, Aldontae Guess, Zechariah Kitzhaber, Bailey Melz, and Nathan Young.

Outstanding Seniors of Saint Mary’s have exemplified the ideals of scholarship, character, leadership, service to colleagues and the university community, and genuine concern for others’ needs.