At two special ceremonies Monday (September 27), first during Convocation in the Chapel of the Holy Cross and then afterward in the Multi-Purpose Room, Jesuit High School recognized the eight students chosen for the school's most prestigious scholarship, the Saint Ignatius Scholar Program.
With their families in attendance, the Saint Ignatius Scholars honored Monday were:
· Seniors Theodore Baier and Zachary Reich
· Juniors Matthew Griffith and Ayden Lee
· Sophomores James Slack and Tyler Tyson
· Freshmen Camden Haywood and Oscar Olivera
Jesuit president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. first spoke about the scholars to the student body at Convocation, and then the two senior Ignatius Scholars addressed their classmates. Reich spoke of the impact the scholarship has had on his life, about how with four other siblings his parents could not have afforded Jesuit’s tuition. Baier then introduced all of the Ignatius Scholars, who were recognized in front of the student body.
September 27 is a special date in Jesuit history. It was on that date in 1540 that the Jesuit Order was confirmed by Pope Paul III. Thus Monday's event marked the 481st anniversary of the founding of the Society of Jesus, known as the "first confirmation of the Society," and every year on or close to the 27th, Jesuit’s Saint Ignatius Scholars are honored.
After Convocation, the scholars and their families attended a special breakfast event in the MPR. There, principal Mike Scicchitano ’01 commended the scholars and their parents for their commitment to “magis,” a Latin word that means “more” or “greater.” In the Society of Jesus, magis refers to the philosophy of doing more for Christ and more for others. Haywood and Olivera, the freshmen, then spoke about their experience in becoming Ignatius Scholars at Jesuit.
Father Hermes spoke about the history and legacy of the Jesuit Order while noting that Jesuit's eight Ignatius Scholars hail from six different middle schools. Reich and Baier then were presented with a special plaque depicting Saint Ignatius, in recognition of their achievement as four-year Ignatius Scholars.
Each year, two incoming freshmen students are selected to receive the Saint Ignatius Scholar 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 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, and they receive an annual award of one-quarter the cost of tuition for four years. The Loyola Foundation Scholars at Jesuit in 2021-22 are: John Paul Llanos '22, Jaden Nelson '22, Kyle Boyes '23, Carmine Sebastiano '23, Jude Soriano '23, Ethan Hahn '24, Evan Rordam '24, Garrett Boyes '25, and Jake Taylor '25.
All other finalists receive a $1,000 financial award. There are currently 86 students at Jesuit who were Ignatius Scholar finalists.
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 fifth 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 Monday's Convocation. A photo slideshow is coming soon.