The University of Saint Mary recognized the achievements of the class of 2019 at the university’s Spring Convocation Honors & Hooding Ceremony on Wednesday.

The ceremony was held in Annunciation Chapel on campus. The event was held in the run-up to the commencement ceremony May 4 at McGilley Field House on campus.

“We gather to acknowledge what you have accomplished,” said USM President Sister Diane Steele. “Now you are young professionals – liberally educated men and women ready to take your place in our global society, advancing the cause of peace and justice, the very kingdom of God. In short, you have become Saint Marians. Today, we mark this miracle we call ‘education’ with the hooding ceremony.”

The university is one of the few in the United States that still honors the tradition of hooding its undergraduates, according to a press release. The hoods are worn over the graduation robes that denote the student’s academic discipline.

“Our hooding ceremony is one of the things making us unique,” said Michelle Metzinger, USM’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Very few colleges and universities have a hooding ceremony for undergraduates, and at some colleges and universities, the actual hooding ceremony is only for (students earning their doctorate). At USM, hooding has always been for all of our graduates, and we consider it a very special way to honor academic achievement in a personal way.”

The university presented multiple student honors at the event, including the top student service honor – the Mother Marcy Ancilla Award for Service.

This year, the award went to Juan Tirado Garcia of Kansas City, Kansas. For the last four years, he has been an active member of the campus ministry as a lector. He is a member of the USM track and field team and volunteers at local high school track meets. He also participated in the university’s spring break service trip to New Orleans.

Saint Mary also bestowed the Sullivan Award for Teaching Excellence to Kyle Anthony, assistant professor of history. The award is given to a full-time faculty member who was nominated by students, faculty and staff as a person who “has made a distinct difference in the teaching climate” at the university.

Bill Krusemark, music program director, and Nancy King, professor of psychology, were each honored with professor emeritus status.