Ursuline News

Class of 2021 Graduation: Awards and Honors

Commencement ceremonies for the 147th Graduating Class of Ursuline Academy were held on Sunday, May 23.

The Valedictorian Award, given to the student with the highest cumulative grade point average, was awarded to Anna Camille Fent. The Salutatorian Award, presented to the student with the second highest cumulative grade point average, was awarded to Sophie Emma Anderson.  The Sister Emmanuel Shea Award was presented to Caroline Marie Pfaffenberger, and Somto Madelynn Unini received the Sedes Sapientiae Award, the highest honor conferred by Ursuline Academy at graduation.

Valedictorian Award

Anna Camille Fent, daughter of Mary and David Fent, is the Valedictorian of Ursuline Academy of Dallas. She is a member of St. Rita Catholic Church in Dallas.    

Anna ran Cross Country and Track & Field for Ursuline as well as participated in the Engineering Club and Computer Science Club. She received the Ursuline Education Network Service Award, the Ursuline Alumnae Leadership Scholarship award in 2019 and 2020, and was recognized as a National Merit Scholarship Commended Scholar. Anna additionally volunteered at the Trinity River Mission as a classroom volunteer and received her Girl Scout Gold Award for her library project with St. Mary Carmel Catholic School.

This fall, Anna will be pursuing a degree in Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.

Read an excerpt from Ms. Fent's Valedictory Address.

Salutatorian Award

Sophie Emma Anderson, daughter of Nathalie and Kenneth Anderson, is the Salutatorian of Ursuline Academy of Dallas. She is a member of St. Monica Catholic Church and Christ the King Catholic Church in Dallas.

Sophie was President of the Ambassador Program, a four-year Varsity Cross Country team member, and an active member of the Feminists for Change Club. She was recognized as a National Merit Scholarship Finalist and Scholar. She was a member of the National Honor Society and of the Math, Science, English, and Spanish National Honor Societies. Sophie additionally volunteered through the National Charity League and worked with Trinity River Mission to organize a tea party for the young girls of Dallas as well as with Dickinson Place, restructuring and reorganizing their library.

This fall, Sophie will be pursuing a degree in Biological Sciences on the Pre-Med track from Fordham University.

Read an excerpt from Ms. Anderson's Salutatory Address.

Sister Emmanuel Shea Award

The Sister Emmanuel Shea Award was presented this year to Caroline Marie Pfaffenberger. This award, sponsored by the Ursuline Alumnae Association, is given in honor of beloved Sister Emmanuel Shea for her years of service to the Alumnae Association. The graduates chosen to receive this award have served Ursuline willingly and generously. The most outstanding characteristic of their service has been the joy with which it has always been completed.

Caroline is a “genuinely amazing person who is always seen helping others even when she isn’t asked.” She “radiates joy” and is “an example to her peers with her actions.” A person of deep prayer in faith, Caroline lives that in a way that brings Christ to those around her. She is a quiet leader, never demanding spotlight, but always eager to help and be a part of things.

Caroline always goes out of her way to say help others and values being a part of the Ursuline community. Her “cheerful optimism and spirit will be missed.” The ultimate UA Bears sports fan, her UA Live segment was a treat to watch.

Sedes Sapientiae Award

Somto Madelynn Unini received the Sedes Sapientiae Award for the Class of 2021. The highest award presented by the faculty, staff, and administration of the Academy, the Sedes Sapientiae Award takes its name from the Latin phrase meaning "Seat of Wisdom."

This award is presented by the faculty and administration to the graduate who exemplifies in an outstanding way the core values of Ursuline. The recipient contributes greatly to Ursuline through her optimism, compassion, and strength of character.

Somto is a “leader academically and civically.” She leads with effortless grace and strikes a delicate balance of commanding attention while remaining approachable. She is “someone who is not afraid to follow, who is willing to collaborate, and is able to see things from multiple perspectives.”

Further, Somto is “light, joy, and humor.” She has led her class and the entire school for four years with charisma and poise, all the while balancing a slew of extracurriculars.

Class of 2021: Additional Awards and Recognitions

National Merit Scholarship Program Finalists

  • Sophie Anderson
  • Agustina de Urtubey
  • Kathleen Tschoepe

National Merit Scholarship Program Commended

  • Whitney Dodson
  • Anna Fent
  • Gabriella Fong
  • Saahithi Kari
  • Grace O'Campo
  • Alanna Pellecchia
  • Daniela Santos-Burgoa Jourda
  • Megan Sickler
  • Somto Unini

National Hispanic Recognition Program Scholars

  • Marianne Cano
  • Delia-Rose Constantin
  • Agustina de Urtubey
  • Daniela Santos-Burgoe Jourdain
  • Daniela Cumming 
  • Erin Torres
  • Samantha Hernandez
  • Eva Montenegro 
  • Grace Ocampo 

National African American Recognition Program Scholar

  • Somto Unini