The Josephine Daggett Prize
Presented to Kaitlyn Suarez
By President Stephen C. Ainlay
May 7, 2016
The recipient of the Josephine Daggett Prize is selected by the faculty and the prize is awarded annually to the senior deemed to be of the best character and conduct.
The recipient of this year’s Daggett prize combines a commitment to academic excellence with a record of service that has helped reveal the compassion and care in all of us. Words used to describe our Daggett Prize recipient include: “selfless,” “motivated,” “mature,” “balanced,” “positive,” and “optimistic.” These qualities alone make a strong candidate for this award but those nominating our Daggett Prize recipient also use words like “remarkable,” “exceptional” and “special.”
Our Daggett Prize recipient’s conduct has been exemplary by virtue of the many ways she has dedicated herself to helping others. She has personally raised thousands of dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. As a first year student, she spearheaded the Good Eats Program which teaches healthy cooking and eating habits to those who face mental and physical challenges. She volunteered at the Child Life Department of Stony Brook Medical Hospital where she developed special programming for children with cancer. She founded the Dutchmen Dip which continues to bring all of us together to support members of our own community who are battling cancer. Our Daggett Prize winner can also be said to have had a national impact, having been widely recognized for the work she’s done to increase cancer awareness.
Our Daggett Prize winner is a Union College Scholar, a National Science Foundation STEM Scholar, and has consistently been on the Dean’s List since 2012. A Geology Major, our Daggett Prize recipient has been honored with the Geology Faculty Prize for contributions to the Department. A member of the Union track team, our Daggett Prize recipient was honored with the Athletics Award for Leadership and was a finalist for the National STUDENT–Athlete Giants Steps Award from the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) which recognizes accomplishments on the field and in the classroom. She’s also received the UNITAS Award in recognition of the many ways she’s helped Union become a stronger more inclusive community.
Union is a better place and we are better people because of the person we honor with this prize. Indeed, it is in recognition of her personal qualities that reveal a character worth praising and in recognition of her actions that demonstrate conduct worth celebrating that we present Kaitlyn Suarez – a truly remarkable, exceptional and special person – with the Daggett Prize.