2022 President's Medallion Winner: Ruby Hernandez
“I’m so thankful to be able to attend this college. I’ve even told my friends and family that Arrupe saved me.”
Hometown: Waukegan, Illinois
High School: Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep
Degree: Business Administrations
Expected Date of Graduation: 2023
As a descendant of Madre Nati—the first Mexican woman to be declared a saint—Ruby Hernandez believes it was her destiny to attend Arrupe. A first-generation college student, she takes the Loyola University Chicago student promise to heart by caring for herself, others, and her community. She served her fellow students as a student orientation leader and as a peer instructor for ACUNI (Arrupe’s first-year seminar).
“Ruby embodies what we hope for all our students at Arrupe College; she understands the value of hard work and demonstrates that value on a daily basis. In addition, Ruby exhibits authentic qualities: she is person-centered, compassionate in her dealings with others, and is committed to excellence, especially when it comes to her personal growth,” said Fr. Tom Neitzke, S.J., EdD, Dean of Arrupe College.
Ruby also participates in Arrupe’s Emerging Leaders Program, Career Club, Entrepreneurship Program, Phi Theta Kappa, and the Grant Thornton Apprenticeship Program.
Here, Hernandez reflects on her future goals and how Arrupe has prepared her for what’s next:
What do you hope to achieve after college, and how has Loyola prepared you?
"I plan to become an accountant. The business world fascinates me. I like how much knowledge you must know to be successful. Arrupe provides a program that allows me to be here because it's so affordable. If it weren't for the generous financial support I receive to attend, I would either be facing an enormous amount of financial debt or attending a different institution.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned from your Loyola education?
"Dean Keys and Sarah [Shaaban] have taught me to be selfless, to be motivated, and to be brave and caring. They trusted me enough to make a presentation to students about how to be motivated, and even nominated me to receive this award. The community support I receive from the Arrupe family has been incredible. I've never felt so much love and support, and I know they genuinely believe in me. There's nothing I don't like about Arrupe. I’m so thankful to be able to attend this college. I’ve even told my friends and family that Arrupe saved me.”
How have you been influenced by Loyola’s Jesuit mission?
"I like Loyola because it is a Jesuit institution. I feel like it's my destiny to be here because my grandfather's aunt, Madre Nati, was the first Mexican woman to be sainted. There are three churches named for her in Mexico. I feel like she's watching over me. It helps me spiritually. I attended a Cristo Rey high school which exposed me to work and how to develop myself into a young professional. My experiences in high school and at Arrupe helped to be motivated, energized, and goal oriented. I had to talk to people in the community and the workplace and I used to be a very shy and reserved person. They instilled in me a sense of confidence and empowerment during my formative years that I never would have thought was possible."
For a full list of recipients by college and school, click here.