Raven Bringing Kansas Beauty to New York

The Benedictine mission of community, faith and scholarship transformed culture in Europe at the dawn of Western Civilization and Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, believes it can do the same in America today. To Transform Culture in America, Benedictine College plans to Form its students deeply in the mission, Advance its mission through alumni in every walk of life, and Extend its mission regionally and nationally.

It’s a long way to the the Bronx from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.

But Merrit Vaughn made the journey, and she is glad she did. She is joining Seton Teaching Fellows in the Bronx, N.Y. As a fellow.

“Benedictine College is a deep well of beauty from which I will draw from for the rest of my life,” she said

Vaughn double-majored in art and theology.

“I chose art because I have always been passionate about art and capturing the beauty that I see, and wanted to continue to develop my talents, refine my skills, and grow in knowledge of art history, art therapy, and studio methods,” she said.

At first, art was all she intended to pursue.

“I chose theology after a year of classes here at Benedictine because the truth I was learning was changing the way I encountered every part of my life. Slowly, these two kept revealing more and more about each other and eventually became inseparable to me. Both of them together pulled me deeper into seeking and understanding more about my Creator.”

Vaughn is a great example of how the college’s mission of community, faith and scholarship create a complete person.

  • She pursued community-building activities such as Student Government, and Intramural sports.
  • To deepen her faith outside the classroom, she was involved in the Marian group Fiat, Focus Bible Study and a Service Learning project.
  • To pursue her scholarship she spent a semester in the Florence Study Abroad Program.

She said the college’s comprehensive approach “taught me to incorporate the faith and look for meaning in every subject or area of my life through my liberal arts education. The Art and Theology department have helped guide and push me to ask deeper questions, and the community and students have shown me the encounter with Christ that all of my studies of beauty and truth point towards,” she said.

What is the greatest takeaway of her time at Benedictine?

“That everything in life is a gift,” she said. “It was one of the first lessons I learned in Intro to Theology, and over the past four years, it has manifested more than I could have imagined. The people, the experiences, the gift of faith, and the knowledge is such a gift that we don’t deserve, but are blessed enough to receive by being at Benedictine.”

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.