Honoring those who personify the Marianist Values
Overcome by emotion, tears cascaded down the cheeks of Victoria DelaCruz ’24 as Bro. Ed Brink named her as this year’s Founders’ Award winner, describing her traits of selflessness, commitment, hospitality, graciousness, faith and her family. A Chaminade Scholar majoring in Data Science, Analytics and Visualization (DSAV), DelaCruz ’24 exemplifies the Marianist education and values.
“Faith has been a part of her journey before coming to Chaminade,” said Brink, Vice-President of Mission and Rector. “This year, she joined the new Student Ministry Team and made a suggestion about having a praise and worship evening at the end of one of the meetings. Although it was one of the last ideas talked about at the meeting, it was one of the first events to move from an idea to an actual event. And that was because of Victoria’s commitment to it.”
Every year during Founders’ Week, the Rector’s office presents the Chaminade Award, the Marianist Award and Founders’ Award to a faculty member, supporting staff member and student, respectively, who embodies the Marianist values.
His voice crackling at times while reading the achievements of the winners of the Heritage Awards, Brink announced the other two honorees: Chaminade Award recipient Dr. Janet Davidson, Vice Provost and professor of criminology, who was described by one of her nominators as resilient, reliable and consistent; and Amy Takiguchi, Director of Financial Aid, Marianist Award, whose efforts to help students go beyond and above a simple answer.
“It was a chicken-skin moment when Dr. Babington informed me of the award,” said Takiguchi ’02, an alumna who started her career at Chaminade as a student worker with Human Resources and has since moved up the ranks. “I have a great team and that’s what makes working here such a rewarding experience.”
For Davidson, the Chaminade Award is not an individual feat, but one that belongs to her team. “I am honored and humbled, but I don’t like the attention,” she said. “But I could have never done it alone. The accolades and attention I receive are because of a great supportive team that works collaboratively to accomplish a lot.”
In his presentation during a special mass ceremony to celebrate Founders’ Week, Brink said these awards are meant to remind all of us of the mission of this University, and the importance of trying to live out that mission on a daily basis. “We gather today to be inspired and to hopefully recommit ourselves to being the best member of this community that we can be,” he added. “Fr. Chaminade wanted those who got caught up in the work that he inspired to be ‘a spectacle’—to give witness to others of how a life based in faith and service could make a difference in the world.”