The 2022 Spirit of the Founders Award was presented to students Gee Salim and Elena Vilanova during a ceremony in the Lawrence Room on Tuesday, September 20, 2022. The event was one of the highlights of the weeklong celebration of Founders Week.
The Spirit of the Founders Award recognizes the contributions of student leaders who hold the promise of carrying the Dominican spirit into the future. Salim said he was honored to receive the award and admitted that it can be difficult to juggle school and activities when you are an involved student. “It’s good to see that what we do matters. We want to do what is best for Dominican University,” he said. Salim is from Brazil and has served as President of the International Students Association for two years. He is also a member of the men’s tennis team, a Resident Assistant, and the Senior Class Representative for the Student Government Association.
Vilanova said being involved in student activities has been an incredible experience. “I’m so proud to be able to be involved on campus and have the opportunity to take on such great leadership roles,” she said. “I wouldn’t change it for the world.” Vilanova has served as President of the Student Government Association for two years and President of Alpha Lamba Delta, the Freshman Honor Society. She also was a Peer Mentor.
Both honorees thanked President Sr. Mary Eileen, O.P, Ph.D., and Chancellor Sr. Kathleen Sullivan, O.P., for all they do for the university.