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Tharini Nagarkar and Connor Raine named Ideal Bonaventure Students for Class of 2024

May 12, 2024

Connor and ThariniTharini Nagarkar, a Health and Society major from Danville, California, and Connor Raine, a Sports Management major from Grand Island, New York, have been named the Ideal Bonaventure Students for the Class of 2024.

The Ideal Bonaventure Students exemplify the spirit of St. Bonaventure and the ideals of St. Francis through their demonstrated commitment to community service and academic excellence. They are selected by a committee that considers nominations from the campus community.

Angela LaGrou of Marilla, New York, and Richard “Rich” Williams of Randolph, New Jersey, were selected as honorable mention Ideal Bonaventure Students. LaGrou is a Behavioral Neuroscience major and Spanish minor major. Williams is a Broadcast Journalism major.

All four students graduated Sunday at St. Bonaventure’s 164th Commencement exercises at the Reilly Center Arena.

Nagarkar, described by one nominator as vivacious, kind, very bright and extremely easy to talk to, has held a number of leadership positions on campus. She was an Admissions Student Ambassador for three years; was a co-creative director, stage director, choreographer, and scriptwriter for ASIA’s annual show for three years; and was a Bona Buddies coordinator for three years, during which time she gave grant presentations to the United Way and to the university’s Board of Trustees.

Nagarkar is deeply committed to issues of diversity, equity and inclusion, working with many campus organizations to promote those ideals.

A student in the Franciscan Health Care Professions program, Nagarkar plans to attend George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C.

With a goal of being a future physician, Nagarkar is an active researcher and has been a supplemental instructor — she wants to help and to give back. She is extremely interested in medical ethics, which is one of the reasons she chose her discipline, Health and Society.

Nagarkar graduated magna cum laude with an honors degree. Her honors project research was “Investigating the Role of FEZ in Acute Myeloid Leukemia.” She has worked as a researcher for Dr. Kaitlyn Dykstra in the Biology Department for three years and won the Weider Research Award for 2022-23. In February, Nagarkar gave poster and oral presentations on her acute myeloid leukemia research at the annual meeting of the Translational Cancer Centers Consortium.

In addition to her passion for science, Nagarkar has an abiding love of the arts: She is an active poet, an excellent advanced pianist, and is a highly skilled Indian classical musician.

Connor Raine has served as president of the Student Government Association for the past two years, representing the student voice on Board of Trustee committees, the Faculty Senate, and various university selection processes.

“If there is an event that SGA is invited to, it is almost a guarantee that Connor will be there,” said Molly Moretti, director of the university’s Career and Professional Resource Center. “Connor has attended Bonnies4Bonnies (a networking event for the CPRC) every year and he also attended the Bonnies4Bonnies event on the road in Buffalo this winter. Connor always advocates for student participation and he models what he asks students to do.”

Raine has worked as an Admissions Student Ambassador, student assistant in the Office of Finance and Administration, a peer mentor, music director at The Buzz campus radio station, and as a manager for the Division I women’s basketball team. He is an active member of the Sports Management Club and was captain of the club golf team in 2021.

Last summer he was a community relations intern with the Nashville Predators pro hockey team, assisting with the Predators Foundation and Helper Grants, executing fundraising initiatives and events, and assisting in community events to enhance the organization’s impact on the Nashville community.

In 2023 he received the Heather Lohr SGA Member of the Year award. Raine, who graduated magna cum laude, was honored this spring with two undergraduate academic awards: Award for Academic Excellence in Sports Management and John G. Watson Award for Business Leadership (honorable mention).

Raine has accepted a position as premium sales and service coordinator for Live Nation Concerts Darien Lake Amphitheater and Empower Federal Credit Union Amphitheater in Syracuse.



About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. Out of 167 regional universities in the North, St. Bonaventure was ranked #6 for value and #14 for innovation by U.S. News and World Report (2024).