New Catholic Leaders Ready to Take On the World

The Gregorian Institute was founded to launch leaders into the world, and on Sunday, April 18, it did just that.

Members of Benedictine College’s Gregorian Fellows Leadership Program met in Ferrell Academic Center on its Atchison, Kansas, campus to honor Gregorian seniors.

“As you leave this special place with a special mission, go out as God’s Consuls, spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth,” Dr. Joseph Wurtz, the program’s leader, told students.

The program is meant to create Catholic leaders in every walk of life.

Wurtz presented an award to nearly 20 senior fellows, listing their accomplishments. For instance:

Jack Cunningham, of Sparta, Mich., majored in Economics and Finance, played varsity baseball, served as president of Student International Business Council, and led debate teams to competition in San Diego. A member of the Investment Club, he completed two internships. Next year he will be Business Development Representative with Ryan Transportation Services, a division of Shamrock Trading, in Chicago, Ill.

Gabby Douglass of Stillwater, Minn., majored in political science and was Administrative Director of the Student International Business Council. She completed four legal internships, was a two-time Discovery Day scholar and next year will begin Law School soon at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Michael Francois, of Sacramento, Calif., majored in mechanical engineering, led mission trips to Belize, played varsity football, presented a Discovery Day project. He completed two internships and will next year start as a Project Engineer in the Thermoforming and Printing department at Berry Global’s plant in Lawrence, Kan.

Brigid Ueland is a native of Arlington, Va., who majored in Economics and History. Brigid completed internships with Verizon Public Policy, the Senate Republican Conference, the Archdiocese of Washington Communications Office and the Senate Finance Committee. She expects to work for the U.S. Senate next year after a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Benedictine College President Minnis spoke to the impressive success of the program.

“Dean Wurtz stepped up to develop a leadership program second to none,” he said. “This required a vision for a program that would support hand-picked students who would be committed to leadership roles at Benedictine College and beyond.”

Wurtz told the Gregorians, “You have been given the gift of a Benedictine College education and you have been good stewards of that gift by serving the college as RAs, Ministry Leaders, ROC leaders, Student Ambassadors, tour guides, club presidents, mission trip leaders, tutors, and a whole host of other capacities. On behalf of the college, I say thank you.”

“Know that we are proud of you and your service,” he added. “Know that we have confidence in your future. Know that you are loved.”

Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is honored to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. Benedictine College is dedicated to transforming culture in America through its mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.