Two St. Bonaventure University students whose accomplishments span academics, athletics and leadership activities were recognized as the Ideal Bonaventure Students for the Class of 2017.
David Bryant, the Ideal Bonaventure Man, and Julie Curran, the Ideal Bonaventure Woman, were recognized on Saturday, May 13, during the university’s Honors Ceremony, and again Sunday during its 157th Commencement Exercises.
The Ideal Bonaventure Students exemplify the spirit of St. Bonaventure and the ideals of St. Francis through community service and academic excellence. They are selected by a committee that considers nominations from the campus community.
Bryant, of Utica, is a son of Cynthia E. Bryant and the late Robert Bryant and earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in journalism and mass communication. Curran, of Montpelier, Vt., is a daughter of Patricia Curran and the late John Curran and earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and music.
The honorable mentions were Michael McLanahan of Bradford, Pa., a marketing major and management minor, son of Marcia Morrison and Larry McLanahan, and Riley Eike of Rochester, a journalism and mass communication major and English minor, daughter of David and Jennifer Eike.
Bryant has distinguished himself by his enthusiasm, energy and participation in clubs and organizations on campus. He was president of the Black Student Union, member of Spectrum, a student coordinator of the Warming House, a lead Student Ambassador, manager of the men’s swimming team, and a volunteer with BonaResponds.
Bryant is a member of the university’s Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), which is designed to serve students who have the potential and interest in furthering their education but due to certain life circumstances, financial and educational, higher education may not have initially been an option.
HEOP Director Bridget Kehrer said Bryant “is willing to do whatever it takes to better himself and the community around him. If you have had the pleasure of knowing David, you know that helping people and promoting inclusivity are of the utmost importance to him.”
A student in the university’s Honors Program, Bryant is a member of Chi Alpha Epsilon and Sigma Tau Delta honor societies. In 2016, he was a recipient of the Independent Sector Student Community Service Award, which recognizes students for their leadership and community service.
He was also the 2016-17 recipient of the Brian Moretti Service Award from the Athletics Department
Whether it’s talking with the parents of a prospective student or singing the alma mater at a university event, Bryant’s pure heart and unselfish ways shine bright, said head men’s swimming coach Sean McNamee.
“He has been a teacher, motivator, mentor, tour guide, recruiter and inspiration to all of the members of our SBU swimming family,” said McNamee. “From his caring concerns for the daily academic or social well-being of a fellow teammate to his willing involvement in the recruitment of potential students to SBU, he has time for whomever needs assistance.”
Bryant will be attending New York University in the fall to pursue a dual degree in Museum Studies and Africana Studies.
Curran’s mix of accomplishments — including music, sports and leadership activities — has allowed her to experience much of what the campus has to offer and add to it.
Curran has served as treasurer for Psi Chi, the psychology honor society, as well as a lead Admissions Ambassador, Orientation Team Leader, Peer Coach and founder and co-captain of the women’s club basketball team. She has also played on the co-ed intramural basketball team and intramural volleyball team. In addition to singing in the College Choir and the Chamber Singers, Curran takes lessons in piano, voice and guitar.
Being a music major involves long hours spent in practice, rehearsals, coachings and performances, so time management is key, especially to one who is a double major.
“Performing on stage requires a certain kind of poise and maturity, and Julie is an excellent performer. She is a creative thinker, as well, writing and recording her own music and lyrics,” said Laura Peterson, a lecturer in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts and Curran’s music major adviser.
For example, in Curran’s senior capstone lecture-recital, she demonstrated the Estill Vocal Technique to the audience. She made the audience realize how difficult it is to sing well and safely, and how a good and well-trained singer can sing in a variety of styles. Her main focus was the physiology of singing, bringing the science of singing into her lecture, Peterson said.
“Julie dove head first into her St. Bonaventure experience, has wrung everything possible from her time here, and has not hesitated to give back to the university,” said Peterson.
Curran is planning to complete her MSED at St. Bonaventure in clinical mental health counseling with a long-term goal of becoming a music therapist.
“Her desire to get a master’s in counseling and eventually work in music therapy is more evidence of someone who wants her career to be one of service to other people,” added Peterson.
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