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Campus & Community Faith & Spirituality Student Features

Four Johnnies to receive 2024 Extraordinary Service Awards

Four Saint John’s University seniors were selected as this year’s Extraordinary Service Award winners:

  • Thomas Hobday (environmental studies and peace studies double major from St. Paul, Minnesota)
  • Wes Kirchner (political science major from Eveleth, Minnesota)
  • Evan Mattson (political science major from Aurora, Minnesota)
  • Fredi Ponce Parra (political science major from Minneapolis, Minnesota).

The Extraordinary Service Award annually recognizes the work of distinguished Saint John’s undergraduate students whose lives are characterized by personal commitment to service which promotes community, justice, work with others to accomplish a greater good and thoughtful reflection about service in light of our Benedictine Values and Catholic social teaching.

Hobday’s commitment to service includes a passionate focus on the important issues of food justice and care for our common home, which have led him to seek solutions through service both locally and globally.

Kirchner has a gift for leadership and a passion for service, a combination that has resulted in tremendous benefits for the CSB and SJU community, as well as in our surrounding area, through his tireless dedication to the efforts of the Saint John’s Senate, campus ministry and the Bonner program.

Mattson’s desire to give of himself through service finds outlet in a broad range of opportunities that emerge from the Catholic and Benedictine character of Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s, from caring for our lands, to outreach work through campus ministry and his strong efforts to heal political divisions within our own CSB and SJU community.

Ponce Parra’s passion for service lies in his commitment to seeking justice for migrant communities, particularly through his dedication to organizations such as College Democrats and the Saint John’s Senate, outreach through campus ministry and his work in the political arena.

The award recipients will be honored during an April 22 banquet. Each winner receives a $2,000 award for their demonstrated commitment to service.

Candidates for the award are nominated by other students, faculty and staff at Saint John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict but can only win the award once during their time at SJU. Nominations are open to sophomores, juniors and seniors at SJU.

Thomas Hobday ’24

Wes Kirchner ’24

Evan Mattson ’24

Fredi Ponce Parra ’24