Fairfield University Alumni Association honors graduating senior with prestigious St. Ignatius Loyola Medal



North Wales, Pa., resident will travel to South America to work with
at-risk children and young adults

Image: Eric ClaytonStanding tall and proud before a packed room at Aloysius P. Kelley, S.J Center, Eric Clayton, of North Wales, Pa., was honored on Tuesday with the St. Ignatius Loyola Medal by Fairfield University's Alumni Association. The award serves as a reminder of Fairfield University's mission and commitment to Ignatian values.

In front of family, university professors, and staff, Fairfield University alumni board member Jon Reddy '96, introduced Clayton at the school's annual student achievement awards ceremony, and explained why Clayton received the prestigious medal. "Eric has been a role model for others, and involved in many aspects of campus life. We are delighted to be honoring him today, and it is with deep admiration and respect that we present him with the 2011 St. Ignatius Loyola Medal."

Clayton was part of a distinguished group of students being recognized for their outstanding commitment and service to the university. "I'm deeply honored. It's a great affirmation of what I have been trying to accomplish during my four years at Fairfield University, and it's a reminder of the communities that I have been a part of," he said. 

Established in 1952, the Saint Ignatius Loyola Medal is presented annually by the Fairfield University Alumni Association to the senior who best exemplifies the true spirit of a Jesuit education and who best maximized opportunities for emotional, social and intellectual growth throughout his or her four years at Fairfield. The individual chosen for the award also has shown a commitment to the Jesuit ideals of maintaining high academic standards and involvement in community service and extracurricular activities.

Image: Jon Reddy and Eric ClaytonWhile at Fairfield, Clayton has served a resident assistant, a writing tutor, a Eucharistic minister, and a university tour guide for the admissions office. In addition, he is a member of multiple academic honor societies, including Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Sigma Nu, Sigma Tau Delta and Alpha Mu Gamma.

Outside the classroom, Clayton has worked as the fellowship editor for the Journal of Global Citizenship, interned for the International Institute of Connecticut, and participated in the World Youth Day program in Australia.

Members of the selection committee said Clayton is a shining example of having understood what it means to be a person who lives by the Jesuit ideals and the quote of St. Ignatius of Loyola, "Go, set the world aflame."

Clayton is a dual degree senior majoring in international studies and creative writing. After graduation, he intends to put his Fairfield University education to good use, and travel to South America to work with at-risk children and young adults in impoverished Bolivia.

University officials said President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. will present Clayton with the St. Ignatius Loyola Medal at Fairfield's 61st commencement exercise later this month.

Top image: Eric Clayton at Fairfield University's Student Achievement Awards ceremony. Clayton is the recipient of the 2011 St. Ignatius Loyola Medal. After graduation, he will travel to South America to work with at-risk children and young adults in Bolivia.
Bottom image: Fairfield University alumni board member Jon Reddy '96 with Eric Clayton of North Wales, Pa. Clayton, a senior, was honored at an awards ceremony with the prestigious St. Ignatius Loyola Medal by Fairfield University's Alumni Association.

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Media Contact: Mark Gregorio, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, mgregorio1@fairfield.edu

Posted on May 5, 2011

Vol. 43, No. 297