May 04, 2021
Dmitriy Ivanov

Assumption Announces Hannah White and Maeve McDonald as Class of 2021 Valedictorian, Salutatorian 

Assumption University is pleased to announce the valedictorian and salutatorian of the Class of 2021. Hannah White ’21, of Tamuning, Guam, and Maeve McDonald ’21, of Quincy, will address their classmates as valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, during Assumption’s 104th Commencement on Sunday, May 9, at the DCU Center in downtown Worcester.

As salutatorian, McDonald will introduce the Commencement speaker, Pulitzer Prize-winning and nationally syndicated Washington Post columnist George F. Will, Ph.D., while White will deliver remarks to her fellow graduates and their families and friends before the conferral of degrees.

“Selection as valedictorian and salutatorian is one of the University’s highest honors, and we are pleased to recognize Hannah and Maeve, who are both well-deserving of this honor,” said Greg Weiner, Ph.D., provost and academic vice president. “Hannah and Maeve demonstrated a commitment to academic excellence and involvement in a number of on-campus organizations, including Campus Ministry, have solidified their places as leaders among their peers and developed into thoughtful and compassionate citizens. Hannah and Maeve and other members of the class of 2021 will impact the communities in which they live, as they have done with the Assumption community, and the University community is immensely proud of their achievements and promising futures.”  

White is a candidate for graduation with a bachelor’s degree graphic design and English: Communication and Media. She is an Augustine Scholar, Light the Way Scholar, and a member of the Dean’s List and the Sigma Tau Delta (English) Honor Society. In April, White received the departmental awards for English with a concentration in writing and mass communications, and graphic design. She also received the Ray Marion Award, which is awarded to the top seniors with the highest grade point averages as they enter their senior year.

White currently serves as an editorial and design intern for Bayard, Inc., where she designs web and print items, such as those for the Catechist Magazine website. During her time at Assumption, White served as a head resident assistant and executive Admissions Ambassador, and has been involved with Campus Ministry as a Horizon Retreat rector; as production manager and design director of MUSE literary magazine; as president of Greenhounds sustainability club; and participated in a spring break SEND trip to Washington, D.C., where she worked with City Service Mission (CSM), which partners with several ministries and organizations that are making a difference in their communities.

White previously interned for the National Park Service in Hagåtña, Guam, where she served as a coral reef outreach intern at the War in the Pacific National Historical Park. In this position, she collaborated with park rangers and community partners in coordinating month-long youth summer program and researched, filmed, and edited a coral reef outreach video as an independent project to aid outreach efforts and expand the Park’s outreach audience. 

McDonald is a candidate for graduation with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and English. She is a member of the Honors Program, Dean’s List, and the Eta Sigma Phi (Classics) and Sigma Tau Delta (English) honor societies. She is a Light the Way Scholar a well as an Augustine Scholar. In April, she received the departmental award for middle/secondary education. In addition to completing her pre-practicum student teaching work, McDonald participated in a community service-learning course in which she assisted teachers of students with special needs at Auburn High School. She also served on the Burrillville (RI) School Department’s re-entry committee helping to develop multiple potential plans for the return of student and staff in the school district during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, contributed to the work of the curriculum subcommittee which developed language for the plans submitted to the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE).

At Assumption, McDonald has worked as Academic Support Center tutor and has been involved in Peer Ministry; as a student coordinator for Good Grief; served on the Campus Ministry Leadership Council and as a Horizon Retreat rector; as a retreat helper and member of SEARCH; as a choreographer and actor in the Assumption’s production of Godspell; as a Reach Out Center volunteer and START Retreat team member; and a member of the Student Ambassadors Club and Residence Hall Council. She was also part of SOPHIA and served as a lector and Eucharist minister on campus. McDonald also participated in a spring break SEND trip to Trenton, NJ, where students participated in a retreat facilitated by the organization FaithJustice.

White and McDonald were chosen from among the top ten students in the Class of 2021 by a committee composed of the president and vice-president of the senior class, the co-chairs of the Commencement Committee, two faculty representatives from the Commencement Committee, and chaired by the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.