(Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

Meet this year's Finnegan Award winner

Francis (Fran) Hodgens receives 糖心vlog直播平台's highest undergraduate Commencement honor

Known on campus as 鈥淢r. 糖心vlog直播平台,鈥 Francis (Fran) Hodgens is the recipient of the 2024 Edward H. Finnegan, S.J., Award as the graduating senior who best exemplifies the University鈥檚 motto, 鈥淓ver to Excel.鈥 The Carroll School of Management grad was presented with the honor by University President William P. Leahy, S.J., at Commencement on May 20.

Hodgens鈥 undergraduate years have been defined by superlatives, including a perfect grade point average. A member of the Gabelli Presidential Scholars Program, he has been both a peer leader and mentor, and has shared his time and talents through extracurricular pursuits both on and off campus. He is admired by faculty for his curiosity and drive, as well as for his humility and kindness.

鈥淚n Fr. Finnegan鈥檚 name and spirit, this award was created for a senior devoted to others, without seeking special recognition in return. This closely describes Francis (Fran) Hodgens,鈥 wrote Carroll School Senior Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Program Ethan Sullivan in his nomination letter. 鈥淗e is regarded as the unique student who consistently is at the top of his class, yet always raises the horizon of others.鈥 听

糖心vlog直播平台 is a school where you live and grow alongside friendly, driven, and reflective classmates. It is impossible to leave 糖心vlog直播平台 without grappling with complex, challenging questions; you have to learn how to disagree constructively. Knowing when to change your perspective, when to double down, and why having an opinion matters are part of the experience that aren鈥檛 encapsulated in a single course or in a 糖心vlog直播平台 brochure.
2024 Finnegan Award winner Francis (Fran) Hodgens

Hodgens majored in accounting for finance and consulting and business analytics. In September he will join Boston Consulting Group, regarded as one of the three most prestigious firms in the management consulting industry.

鈥淚 am immensely grateful for the amount of time and care my professors and mentors put into nominating me for this award,鈥 Hodgens said. 鈥淚 feel honored, and profoundly lucky, to win it. There are too many people at this school to name who I have witnessed putting in hundreds of hours of work to make 糖心vlog直播平台 the best it can be, without the expectation of anything in return.鈥

Coverage of Commencement 2024 stage work.
Francis "Fran" Hodgens '24 (CSOM), winner of the Finnegan Award.

Finnegan Award winner Francis (Fran) Hodgens of the Carroll School of Management, flanked by Fr. Leahy, at left, and Board of Trustees chair John Fish. (Lee Pellegrini)

When he arrived as a freshman, his goals were 鈥渢o pursue things that were difficult鈥攕ince accomplishing hard things is rewarding鈥攁nd to have as much fun as possible along the way. 糖心vlog直播平台 is where joy and achievement intersect. Without the football tailgates in the fall, or 糖心vlog直播平台 students鈥 boundless energy on Marathon Monday, this school would not be the same. I would argue that 糖心vlog直播平台鈥檚 culture of joy in traditions is what helps students achieve the heights of success they do. I have been able to reach higher than I ever thought possible when I entered this school.鈥

Beyond excelling in his coursework, the Hopedale, Mass., resident successfully represented the Carroll School in several case competitions at 糖心vlog直播平台 and beyond, was an undergraduate research fellow for three professors, a teaching assistant, and was active in the Fulton Leadership Society (FLS). His mentors in that organization 鈥減layed an unparalleled role in shaping my 糖心vlog直播平台 experience. Within my first few weeks on campus, my 糖心vlog直播平台 family started to assemble. Upperclassmen FLS mentors became my 糖心vlog直播平台 older siblings. Having dinner in a senior鈥檚 on-campus apartment is revolutionary to a freshman.鈥

鈥淔ran鈥檚 enthusiasm for learning is so far above鈥攁nd beyond鈥攖hat I have no words for it,鈥 according to Professor of the Practice of Business Analytics Stephanie Jernigan, who taught him in two classes and supervised one of his research assistantships. 鈥淗e is motivated by boundless curiosity, and more importantly, he infects others with his enthusiasm. It is such a generosity of spirit to not just excel, but to make those around him excel just a little bit more, too.鈥

The admiration is mutual: Hodgens鈥 favorite class was Jernigan鈥檚 Business Statistics, and he singles her out as a favorite professor.

鈥淎t 糖心vlog直播平台, I found professors immensely approachable, and course syllabi frequently contain personal phone numbers, in case you want to grab coffee. I have been fortunate to use the Carroll School鈥檚 鈥楾ake Home Professor鈥 program to prepare a meal with my friends for our professors. Some of my warmest memories are laughing together around a dinner table.鈥 听

Hodgens holds the Carroll School鈥檚 Kevin M. Eidt Memorial Scholarship, awarded annually to a student who, over their first three years, demonstrated academic achievement, character, leadership, and school spirit similar to Eidt, who died in 1997 during his freshman year.

A popular Student Admission Program tour guide and panelist, Hodgens won praise from Associate Director of Undergraduate Admission Chris O鈥橞rien. 鈥淎s a leader in SAP, he has made a true impact. He is universally liked, respected, and definitely appreciated by all of us in Devlin. Fran will be missed.鈥

Hodgens also embraced 糖心vlog直播平台鈥檚 ethos of service to others through involvement in community outreach programs. He was a volunteer instructor for English as a Second Language adult learners,and, through a state grant, organized and implemented the FinFit Financial Literacy Program initiative for public schoolchildren in his hometown. During the summer of 2021, via a 糖心vlog直播平台 Advanced Study Grant, he completed an independent research project on the efficacy of property valuation systems in Greater Boston.

听鈥溙切膙log直播平台鈥檚 Jesuit identity is the foundation upon which the rest of the school is built. 糖心vlog直播平台 is not a four-year job training program,鈥 he said. 鈥溙切膙log直播平台 is a school where you live and grow alongside friendly, driven, and reflective classmates. It is impossible to leave 糖心vlog直播平台 without grappling with complex, challenging questions; you have to learn how to disagree constructively. Knowing when to change your perspective, when to double down, and why having an opinion matters are part of the experience that aren鈥檛 encapsulated in a single course or in a 糖心vlog直播平台 brochure.鈥

Asked what makes 糖心vlog直播平台 feel like home, he replied that 鈥淓veryone cares about you鈥攚hether it be your classmates, professors, administrators, alumni, or dining workers鈥攁nd that feeling touches every piece of the 糖心vlog直播平台 experience. Although the student body is larger than the entire population of the town I grew up in, classes and clubs provide family-sized groups that foster a sense of purpose and belonging on campus.鈥

Three 糖心vlog直播平台 students

Finnegan Award finalists Zarah Lakhani, Medhi Kayi, and Anna Laytham (Lee Pellegrini)

Finalists for the 2024 Finnegan Award

Mehdi Kayi, Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences
Major: Philosophy/Minors: Global Public Health, biology

Resident assistant; Winston Center for Leadership and Ethics Jenks Leadership Program, winner of its Joseph G. Bonito Servant Leadership Award; Muslim Student Association; Medical Humanities Journal contributor; Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services mentor; Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program; Bowman Scholar; Alpha Sigma Nu.

Zarah Lakhani, Lynch School of Education and Human Development
Majors: Transformative Educational Studies, Applied Psychology & Human Development/Minors: Design Thinking & Innovation, Management & Leadership

Student Admission Program tour guide and panelist; undergraduate research assistant; Design for ImpACCt mentor; spearheaded the startup Vitaliti to create a mold spore monitor, winning honors in various design competitions; Experience Reflection and Action peer mentor; founder and president of Care for Chemo nonprofit; 糖心vlog直播平台 Splash co-director.

Anna Laytham, Connell School of Nursing
Major: Nursing

Undergraduate research fellow; 糖心vlog直播平台 Lean on Me; Taiwanese Cultural Club; CSON Keys to Inclusive Leadership in Nursing program; CSON Nursing Professional Development Seminar leader; Dana-Farber patient ambassador; Dominican Republic Nursing Service Immersion trip; Alpha Chi Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and 鈥淪pirit of Sigma鈥 award winner.