Kelly Douglas and Grace Hoffman, members of Manhattan College’s class of 2015, each received the Joseph J. Gunn Alumni Medal on May 14 at the Spring Honors Convocation. Both graduated on May 17 at the College’s 173rd Commencement along with more than 750 classmates.
The Joseph J. Gunn Alumni Medal is one of the College’s highest undergraduate student honors. Since 1983, the award has been given to a graduating senior who has made a significant contribution to the College during his or her undergraduate career. This is the first time the Gunn Medal has been awarded to two graduating seniors.
“Kelly and Grace were no doubt special all their lives, and they continued to flourish here at Manhattan College,” said Meg Walsh ’79, president of Manhattan College’s Alumni Society. “They came for an education, and in addition to opening their minds, they further opened their eyes and hearts to gratitude, empathy and inclusiveness. They learned how to collaborate with others while demonstrating leadership, and gave freely of their time, energy and talent to bring comfort to others and brighten the lives of those around them. In other words, they live the Lasallian teachings.”
Douglas is a management major in the School of Business. She has volunteered in several capacities while at Manhattan, including with the Mustard Seed Communities in Jamaica as part of the L.O.V.E. (Lasallian Outreach Volunteer Experience) program, where she worked in an orphanage with children with mental and physical disabilities.
Douglas also established the College’s Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Campus Ambassadors chapter. In November 2014, CRS recognized Manhattan College as a global campus, for advancing the global social mission of the Catholic Church at the institutional, faculty and student levels, largely thanks to Douglas’s efforts.
An accounting major in the School of Business, Hoffman has worked with Montana’s Blackfeet Tribe and the Bear Homeless Shelter during a L.O.V.E. program, bringing comfort to the homeless, some of whom were battling addiction and poverty. Along with Douglas, Hoffman is active with Part of the Solution (POTS), a local soup kitchen. Both are members of the 85th class of the Pen and Sword Society.
Hoffman holds leadership roles in Student Government, the Accounting Society and the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program. She also has been a student assistant in the College’s sports medicine department and is a member of the Manhattan College Singers.