Courtney Darts of Monroe is valedictorian at Fairfield University

Image: C DartsCourtney Darts of Monroe, N.Y., garnered several academic awards at Fairfield University, capping off her many achievements with the honor of being awarded the Bellarmine medal as this year's valedictorian.

In her commencement address, Courtney challenged her classmates to adopt the values of their Jesuit education and not succumb to the "culture of mainstream America, with its emphasis on personal gain." Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, she said, "To believe in something and not to live it, is dishonest."

Saying "It is possible to reconcile one's personal ambitions with social commitment," she told of two Fairfield graduates: Stephen Borla '96, who works for the disadvantaged "in one of the poorest, most dangerous areas of the city," and Joseph DiMenna '80, "whose business genius allowed him to amass a fortune that has made the construction of a desperately needed new library possible. Two very different men, yet each I think has found a way of living that embodies in some way the values they learned at Fairfield."

The Fairfield University Alumni Association presented Courtney with a Student Achievement Award for her leadership of the Debate Team where she chaired the Board and excelled in several competitions. From finishing first with a teammate out of a field of 70 teams that included Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, to placing at the World Debate Invitational, Courtney was applauded for bringing the team to new heights.

A double major in English and Art History, Courtney was awarded the English Department Award for Best Senior Major, the Mary Louise Larrabee Award for Outstanding Achievement in Art History and the Lieutenant William Koscher Award in Arts. In April, Courtney was among three Fairfield University students honored in Hartford, Conn., with an official citation from the State of Connecticut General Assembly for outstanding academic achievement.

The recipient of a University Fellow Merit Scholarship, Courtney was a member of the Honors Program and, because of her exceptional academic record, was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as a junior. She is also a member of Alpha Sigma Nu, the Jesuit Honor Society; and Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society.

Courtney was a member of the Fairfield University Glee Club, wrote for the student newspaper, The Mirror, and studied at Fairfield's Campus in Florence, Italy last spring.

She plans to attend graduate school in comparative literature with the goal of becoming a professor at the college level.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647,

Posted on June 15, 2001

Vol. 33, No. 219

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