At two special ceremonies Tuesday (Sept. 29), first during Convocation in the Chapel of the Holy Cross and then in the MPR, Jesuit High School recognized the seven students chosen for the school's most prestigious scholarship, the Saint Ignatius Scholar Program.
Two students in each grade level are selected to receive the award, which is worth half the cost of tuition through all four years of high school. Students initially qualify to receive the award in 8th grade if they are accepted into Jesuit and scored in the top 2% nationwide on the High School Placement Test. From that pool of Ignatius Scholar finalists, candidates must submit an essay and letter of recommendation, and are evaluated on the basis of character, faith, service, and need.
Two additional Ignatius Scholar finalists are selected as Loyola Scholars, with an annual award of one-quarter the cost of tuition for four years. All other finalists receive a $1,000 financial award. There are currently 89 students at Jesuit who were Ignatius Scholar finalists.
With their families in attendance, Jesuit High School's Saint Ignatius Scholars honored Tuesday were:
· Senior Dawson Kiser
· Juniors Theodore Baier and Zachary Reich
· Sophomores Matthew Griffith and Ayden Lee
· Freshman James Slack and Tyler Tyson
Jesuit president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. honored the scholars at Convocation, and then the senior Ignatius Scholar, Kiser, addressed the student body. Kiser spoke about the impact the scholarship has had on his life, and how setbacks such as being cut from the soccer team his freshman year opened up amazing opportunities for him at Jesuit. Kiser then introduced all of the Ignatius Scholars, who were recognized in front of the student body.
After Convocation, the scholars and their families attended a special event in the MPR. There, principal Barry Neuburger commended them, and Father Hermes spoke about the history and legacy of the Jesuit Order. Kiser, the lone senior, was presented with a special plaque depicting Saint Ignatius, in recognition of his achievement as a four-year Ignatius Scholar. Slack and Tyson, the freshmen, then spoke about their experience in becoming Ignatius Scholars at Jesuit.
Tuesday's event came two days after the 480th anniversary of the founding of the Society of Jesus, known as the "first confirmation of the Society." The Jesuit Order was confirmed on Sept. 27, 1540 by Pope Paul III.
In order to maintain their scholarship, the Ignatius Scholars must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 4.0, complete all required community service by the designated dates, remain free of serious disciplinary sanction (i.e., notice or probation), and participate in at least one non-athletic school club or activity. The program was founded in 2014, making this the fourth school year with every grade level represented.
For more information about the Ignatius Scholar Program, contact Admissions Director Steve Matesich '91 at (813) 877-5344, ext. 715, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see below a video of Tuesday's Convocation. A photo slideshow is coming soon.