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2018 College Councils Awards

More than 200 college Knights, representing 85 colleges and universities, attended the September 2017 College Councils Conference at the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council office.

A record of 38 college councils earned the distinction of Star Council, through achievement in membership, insurance and programming.

Council 1477 at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., and Council 6375 at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., received the award for highest net gain in membership, each bringing in 42 new members. Council 16464 at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, earned the award for highest percentage gain in membership by expanding its roster by 96.4 percent.

Council 11949 at University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., was recognized for the highest net gain in insurance members by adding 13 new insurance members. Council 16465 at New Mexico State University, won the award for highest percent gain in insurance with 29.0 percent growth.

The Church Activity Award

The Church Activity Award was presented to Council 7682 at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill. Catholics in Granada, Nicaragua, lacked a church hall in which they could hold catechism classes, parish meetings and other community activities. The council conducted a series of fundraisers including Christmas puzzles, a golf tournament and raffles to raise over $1,200 to provide the building’s roof and over half of the flooring. The council aims to continue supporting this parish in the future.

Community Activity Award

Council 14542 at University of Louisiana in Lafayette, La., received the Community Activity Award for their disaster relief efforts, in the wake of the destructive hurricanes in the area. The council assisted families in removing damaged items from their homes, ripping up carpet and drywall and giving them hope. These efforts continued for weeks into the fall semester as the council helped their community rebuild.

Council Activity Award

The Council Activity Award went to Council 10624 at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, for their weekly Bible study program. The council’s lecturer coordinated a council Bible study based on the story of salvation. Each week council members gathered for two hours to read and discuss a particular passage. The conversation would follow prepared questions and ultimately led to considering the council’s role in continuing the work of Christ.

Family Activity Award

Council 4708 at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., was awarded the Family Activity Award for its Study Mug Fundraiser. Early in the semester, the council reaches out to parents who can purchase a coffee mug filled with candy, supplies and a personal note to their son or daughter. These “study mugs” are then distributed to students at the start of finals week. This past year, the council raised $3,000 from this fundraiser and purchased New Testament Bibles for all incoming freshmen. Additionally, the council included a bookmark with helpful Bible verses for students and information on the council’s activities and programs.

Youth Activity Award

The Youth Activity Award was presented to Council 8250 at The United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., for their youth in need mentorship program at San Miguel Academy, a tuition-free, faith-based academy for 5th-8th grade boys from underprivileged families in Newburgh, N.Y. Regularly, the council members volunteer at the academy, assisting with Bible studies, leading prayer groups, providing mentorship and coaching sports. The council also prepares and serves meals at the academy. In addition, the council hosts the academy on campus each semester helping these young men see the possibilities of working hard in school and avoiding the violence they experience in their community.

Culture of Life Award

Council 13635 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., was awarded this year’s Culture of Life Award for their pro-life pilgrimage. Last year, the council joined the Sisters of Life for their Day for Life at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. The day’s events consisted of adoration, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, talks by Sisters and other religious and Mass with Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York. Adding to the council’s experience of praying for the victims of abortion, for those weighing the decision of abortion and for those confronting other life issues, the event was held the same day as 400,000 people participated in a Women’s March on 5th Avenue. Those participating in the march were invited to prayer in the cathedral and many accepted this invitation.

Outstanding College Council Award

The Outstanding College Council Award was presented to Council 16402 at the University of Mary in Bismarck, N.D. In addition to a strong commitment to growth, each new Knight receives a “Because You’re New” letter explaining ongoing council events and programs. This monthly letter allows new members to feel a part of the council and know what’s going on.

The council has also developed a strong devotion to Mary. After their campus announced the construction of a new Marian grotto, the council started a daily rosary at the future grotto’s site. Each day, at least two Knights would brave the elements to pray for their campus. This practice has continued after the grotto opened. The council also developed a Marian visitation program in which council members host a statue of Our Lady in their dorm rooms for a week.

The University of Mary Council has taken its faith beyond campus. In the northern part of their jurisdiction there are many mission parishes that serve indigenous peoples on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. In addition to applying a fresh coat of paint to one of these churches, the council reinforced and repaired walls, cleaned the interior and exterior and provided other general maintenance to the parish.

The council also demonstrated its commitment to the unborn as 42 council members, over half of the council, spent over 40 hours on a bus to travel to the National March for Life in Washington, D.C. Several of the council members served in large leadership roles as over 600 total students from campus attended the march.

These awards only briefly highlight the charitable initiatives performed by the Knights of Columbus from 371 college and university campuses.