Christendom's Got Talent


Name: Katie Francis
Falls Church, VA
Irish dancing, traveling, hanging out with friends, backyard sports.
Who's your favorite professor or class? This is such a hard decision! There are so many amazing classes. Two of my favorites in my four years have been Prof. Sharon Hickson and Dr. John Cuddeback, both of them make you love whatever you are studying, and you can easily see that they are invested in their students.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in?
I've participated in intramural sports including the annual Powder-Puff game. itunes I am also an RA, which involves a lot of extra-curricular activity regarding events.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? I love the atmosphere of the school. The teachers and staff are dedicated to the formation of the students and it encourages us to take as much as we can away from our experience here. Also, the sacraments are so readily available, which is something you definitely can't find at many colleges.
Why did you choose Christendom? Because I wanted a strong Catholic education to support me in anything I choose to pursue.
What surprises you the most about Christendom? How much I would grow and learn. I knew the education and experience here was valuable, but I never could have imagined the blessings I've received in my time here.
What are your plans after graduation? The possibilities are endless. itunes
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student?
Take advantage of every opportunity, you won't regret it!


Dance Wars

A male and female from each Dorm Wars team participated in a swing dancing and waltz competition on Wednesday, March 28, in the Commons. After dancing as a group in both swing and waltz, the judges chose the best three couples from the groups and they performed their own routines.

“There was some stiff competition, but it was a lot of fun to participate,” says Senior Rob Fetsko. “I am really glad this competition was incorporated into the Dorm Wars events.”

From these couples the winners were chosen. Freshmen Gabrielle Cintorino and Andre Moreau of team "#Swag" won the waltz competition, while Junior Nick Blank and Senior Brianna Miller of team "Triple L's" won the swing dancing competition.

Junior John McFadden and Senior Caroline Deucher show off their waltzing skills.

Swing dance winners Junior Nick Blank and Senior Brianna Miller.

Genius Bowl

Four representatives from participating Dorm Wars teams competed in a trivia scholars’ bowl event called the “Genius Bowl” on Thursday night, March 29. Teams had to provide the correct answer at top speed to trivia questions ranging from literature to sports to history. Team "Triple L's" came out victorious in the end.

“The Genius Bowl was a true test of my knowledge of the world,” says Sophomore Conor O’Donnell. “Even though our team was not the most knowledgeable, the competition was fierce and we had fun with it.”

The "Off-Beats" put their genius to the test.

Olympics Come to Campus

As the final test of athletic ability, the Dorm Wars held an outdoor Olympic Games on Saturday, March 31. Students were given the opportunity to compete in such events as shot-put, the 100 meter dash, the wheelbarrow race, and a cross country race around campus.

“The Olympics was an exciting and physically competitive event,” says Sophomore Sean LaRochelle. “I really enjoyed interacting with my team with competing with the other students.”

The many events took place all afternoon, keeping the fun going for hours and allowing for fresh recruits for the different competitions.

Senior Paul Nangurai competes in the shot-put contest.

Flying across field in the wheelbarrow race.

Mega-Shield in the Spring

Early Saturday morning, the student group Shield of Roses went to 7:30 a.m. Mass and then drove to Washington D.C. to pray in front of the Planned Parenthood abortion mill. Shield leader, Senior Christopher Tipton, organized the event. Members of the Christendom choir who attended sang choral pieces in between each of the four mysteries of the Rosary. Dr. and Mrs. O’Donnell were also present, praying with the other 56 members of the College community who attended, for an end to abortion. This Mega-Shield marked the last “Shield of Roses” for this year’s “Forty Days for Life” campaign.

Mega-Shield leader, Senior Christopher Tipton, organized the event. Above, he and Senior Christine Nussio led the group in prayer.

Christendom College students are active in pro-life work year round, enthusiastically participating in (and sometimes leading) the March for Life, as well as taking part in sidewalk counseling and volunteering at a local crisis pregnancy center.

Crusader Rugby Ends Season on a Winning Note

The Crusader rugby team played its last game of the season this past Saturday, March 31, defeating Lord Fairfax Community College on its home Middletown, Va., field by a score of 25-10.

Tries were scored by four different Crusaders—Larry Urgo, Matthew Worley, Paddy Norton, and Gabe Schuberg.

The team ends their winning season with 5 victories, 2 losses. This is their third winning season in as many years.

Earlier in the season, the Crusaders beat two local rivals: The Catholic University of America and American University.

Crusader Rugby 2012

Christendom's Got Talent: Coffee House 2012

Saturday night, the St. Lawrence Commons was packed full with students as they all gathered to either watch or participate in this year’s “Coffee House,” hosted by Juniors Eric Maschue and Theresa Lamirande.

There were many great performances, including a group of students, organized by Senior Chris Foeckler, who put on the Monty Python Skit, “The Worlds Funniest Joke,” and “The Argument.”

Sophomore Faith Leopold entertained the audience with her original and very clever song, “Lump of Love.” Junior Peter Spiering had the audience in stitches with his comedy routine, as did Sophomore Katie Shannon with her video, “Things Christendom Kids Don’t Say.”

Senior Eryn Landry and Co. impressed the audience with their Christendom rendition of “Tradition” from “Fiddler on the Roof.” Cousins Erin Clark and Terri Hibl performed an impressive and original, “Swift Medley.”

However, probably the most loved act that night, which received a standing ovation was by Seniors Kelsey McCrum, Becky Matthews, and Laura Beth Osterhague, called, “Three Girls Meet at a Barre.” The girls performed an impressive choreographed dance routine.

The event was a great time for all!

Freshmen Noah de la Cruz and Sandy Bobrowski perform "Tears in Heaven."

Junior Emi Funai and Senior Lizzie Crnkovich perform an intense variation on "Chop Sticks."

Kelsey McCrum, Becky Matthews, and Laura Beth Osterhague's act featured ballet, tap, and hip-hop dancing.

"Tradition!" ... Christendom-style.

"The Funniest Joke in the World" had people dying with laughter.

Juniors Eric Machue, Theresa Lamirande, Peter Hill are joined by Senior Kirk Slocum and alumnus Hugh Bratt as they play a song which featured one guitar being used as percussion, rhythm, bass, lead, and harmony.

Dorm Wars Comes to a Close

The first-annual campus-wide Dorm Wars came to an end on Sunday afternoon, April 1, with closing ceremonies and a cookout. Caitlin Bowers and James Hannon announced the overall winning teams of Dorm Wars and distributed awards. The "Triple L's" came in first place with an overall 895 points, while the "Beached Whales" came in a close second place with 860 points, and the "Offbeats" finished in third place with 662 points.

“I thought that the closing ceremonies were a perfect ending to an amazing first-ever Dorm Wars competition,” says Sophomore Matt Speer. “I especially had fun playing corn hole and grilling hot dogs for everybody at the cookout.”

Overall, the Dorm Wars events spanning the past two weeks were a huge success, and Christendom's campus cannot wait for next years’ events already.

Campus Champions: "The Triple L's"

Sophomore Matt Speer and Junior Dan Mitchell man the grill.

Enjoying a game of corn-toss on a lovely spring day.

Debating Man's End

Sunday night the Chester-Belloc Debate Society had the second to last debate of the semester, and debated the famous Scotist versus Thomist resolution, “Man’s end is to love God.” The pro side won, with 14 votes pro to con’s 11, and 12 abstentions.

Even Professors Mark Clark and Eric Jenislawski got involved in the debate.

Attorney General Exhorts Students to Get Involved

Virginia's Attorney General, Kenneth Cuccinelli II, spoke to the Christendom College community on the topic of "Living the Catholic Faith in Politics and Government" on April 2.

Before a crowd of about 400 college students, faculty, staff, and guests, Cuccinelli, who plans on running for the Governorship of Virginia next year, encouraged all present to be active in the political process and to be Catholic leaders in all areas, but particularly in the areas of science, media, and politics.

"Every single thing that government does to expand its power, comes directly at the expense of your liberty," he said. "It's not enough to be a faithful Catholic and learn the tenets and precept of our faith. We have to be actively Catholic—engaging and leading the world around us."

A key opponent to the HHS mandate, Cuccinelli said that the Obama administration has delayed many regulatory decisions until after the November elections, but in the case of this mandate, he thinks they made a fatal mistake.

"There is an easy way—well a simple way—to get out from underneath that mandate, and that's get a new president," he said. "We need to elect people that will follow and uphold the Constitution."

Many students lingered after the talk to meet the Attorney General and discuss the topic further.

Click here to read more about this lecture or download it at Christendom on iTunes U.



Florence and More

This week we took a trip to the beautiful city of Florence, Italy! The Duomo, the big cathedral of Florence, is renowned for having the second largest dome in the world. We were able to take the climb up to the top of the dome and take in a view of the whole city from above.

While in Florence, we took a tour of the famous Uffizi museum, home to hundreds of works from famous artists. Among these artists were Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Caravaggio. By way of the layout of the museum, we were able to trace the development and trends in art in all of history. Florence is also home to the famed statue by Michelangelo, the David, which many of us went to see.

Florence is also well known for its high quality handmade leather goods, and fine neckties. All of us spent time walking through the outdoor market shopping for these items. Some of us walked home with leather jackets that will last half a decade, some of us carried out silk scarves and jewelry, and some of us left with piles of beautiful neckties.

When we returned to Rome, many of us attended the Palm Sunday Papal Mass. St. Peter’s Square was transformed for this special occasion. The area around the large obelisk in the middle of the square was decorated with palms and trees creating an oasis that seemed to drop us right in the New Testament scene in Jerusalem. The Palm Sunday Mass was a great doorway to this year’s Holy Week in Rome.

Early this week we had a fantastic tour of the Vatican Museums in which Prof. Liz Lev demonstrated the lineage of art that can be traced from the ancients through centuries of artwork affecting other artists and inspiring their works in a great Providential chain of time. She also brought every aspect of the paintings out in order for us to understand the true context and full beauty of the art.

After the morning of artwork, we spent the afternoon in fellowship, fun, and games. Thomas More College hosted us on their Rome campus and challenged us to a soccer match. Although at halftime the two teams were tied, and both teams were working hard, I am happy to say that the game concluded in a Crusader victory!

Palm Sunday with Pope Benedict XVI.

On tour with Prof. Liz Lev.

Crusader soccer victory in Rome.

Van Runs

One frequently asked question of incoming Christendom College freshmen is: “If I ever need to get into town, is there a way for me to do so if I do not have a car?” What many prospective (as well as current) students are unaware of, however, is the fact that FREE van runs into town occur on a daily basis in order to accommodate students’ needs.

Every weekday afternoon, a student driver stops by the guys’ and girls’ dorms to pick up any students who need to go into town for any reason. Ran out of shampoo? Need to run by the bank? Out of dorm snacks? No problem. You can easily jump in a fifteen-passenger van and tell the driver where it is you need to go. The driver takes everyone’s needs into consideration and thereby decides on a route for that day. Popular van run stops include Target, Wal-Mart, and Martin’s grocery store.

"The town run is a great service for the students,” says Senior Jeremy Vierling. “It gives those who live on campus and don't necessarily have cars the opportunity to get into town for a little bit and get food and living necessities. We do these runs every day during the week, and I am glad to be able to help out by driving for my fellow students."

Students thus need not be hindered by their lack of a car (or gas money to fuel their car), for they can take advantage of Christendom van runs any day they would like!

One of the van's many stops.


Indoor Soccer Finishes in Style

Despite Crusader gymnasium being built primarily for basketball and volleyball, all those connected with Christendom realize the multi-use functionality that it possesses. Whether it be the viewing of the Super Bowl on the wall or packed full of people for graduation or a spring transformation into an indoor batting cage. But of all its uses, one of its most popular adjustments is for the intramural indoor soccer season every spring semester.

If one needs proof all one has to do is to visit the gym on Monday or Thursday evenings and sometime even Wednesday evenings. No other sport to date has seen the excitement and passion that dominated this past indoor season. Teams practicing, jerseys synced, yes, all for an indoor intramural game where just one side of the “field” is out of bounds and everything else goes, except full power shots inside the three point line of course!

With a full slate of 22 excited teams the season got underway early into the semester on January 26, with a projected length of about six-weeks the season was extended due to the many wishes of the participants. There were a wide variety of players and teams that participated during the season including the soccer crazed Philosophy Professor Mark Wunsch who unfortunately suffered a season ending ankle injury, which prevented him from playing in the final weeks and tournament. After each team played close to 12 games apiece, the tournament began and, for many, it was all that counted, or maybe that was just for the McKeague twins…

With our own March Madness underway the teams began the trek to the championship and glory and fame, well at least a championship. The final four included, Team 6 made up of Lisa Hill, Michael Bugin, Chris Foeckler, Prof. Wunsch, and David Frank; Team 3 consisted of Arlen “Happy Twin” McKeague, Johnny Foeckler, Megan Speer, Matt Speer, John David Speer and Julie Mersch; Team 5 of Paul Sanare, Jared Petersen, Laura Beth, Mike Bobrowski, Jon Duerbeck, and John Schofield; and Team 8 consisting of Sean LaRochelle, Daniel Traina, Thomas Maurer, Faith Leopold, Pat Rose and Ginny Colgan.

Teams 8 and 6 moved onto the championship where the party started! Led by Nicholas Blank, Theresa Nelson, and Johnny Foeckler the championship game included a World Cup-like procession, the National Anthem and starting line-ups not to mention an entertaining play-by-play broadcast by Johnny Foeckler.

Team 6 who had added super-sub Melanie Clark in the place of injured Lisa Hill and playing without Professor Wunsch added strength and skill as they would get the lead with a beautiful one touch combination goal from seniors Mike Bugin and Chris Foeckler. Team 8 proved to be a worthy opponent as Sean LaRochelle and his “how did he do that” moves kept the game within reach in addition to the downright crazy saves made by Pat Rose.

Finally as the game wore on in the second half, the experienced Team 6 would put the nail in the coffin with their second goal. They went on to claim the championship, a first for all of them including seniors David Frank, Chris Foeckler, and Mike Bugin.

The game was followed by a pizza reception hosted by the Athletic Department for the players and fans. The result of the season was possibly the longest and most enjoyed intramural season in recent history with over 130 participants. Next on the intramural calendar is the ever-popular Dodgeball beginning immediately after Easter as well as 3-on-3 Basketball. However in an effort to continue to the success of indoor soccer the athletic department is searching for the next “big thing.”

Bowling anyone?

Q. I’ve met a couple of your alumni, and they seem like pretty decent people. They are definitely great Catholics, but I’ve sometimes wondered if all of them end up having to go to grad school and rack up more debt, due to the fact that a degree in the subjects you offer would not be of much use in today’s job market. Any thoughts?

A. Do I have any thoughts? Never ask an Admissions Director this itunes Our alumni do all kinds of things after graduation. The one thing that you can pretty much count on when earning a degree in one of our majors (history, theology, philosophy, political science, English, and classics) is that you will generally not work in that field after graduation (Check out our list of what our alumni do).

And going to grad school is something they may never be part of your life either. The majority of Christendom grads do not go on to grad school. Not that there is anything wrong with this, of course, but I am telling you this because you should certainly not assume that because someone has a degree in history or philosophy or theology that they need to do further schooling in order to get a good job.

When I was a Director of Religious Education back in the mid-90s, I was responsible for teaching the RCIA class, for those who were interested in becoming Catholic. It was a great experience, but one of the things that I came to realize is that there is a lot of bad information going around about the Catholic faith. There is a lot of misunderstanding about what we actually believe versus what people think we believe. For example, I can’t tell you how many times my students would tell me, “Tom, why do Catholics worship Mary?” Of course, as we all know, this is not true because we do not worship Mary, but rather, we venerate her and ask for her intercession with her Son on our behalf – Big difference! As soon as I would say that, they’d respond, “Ahhhh. I see. Tell me more.”

Why am I telling you this little fun fact? Well, right now, and for many years in the recent past, there has been a lot of bad information going around about the value and benefits of a liberal arts degree. There is a lot of misunderstanding about what liberal arts grads actually do versus what people think they do. And one of these big misunderstandings is that people think the following: Those poor liberal arts students, since they wasted their college years on studying the higher things and getting educated in a broad manner, now they have to go on and spend another 2-4 years actually getting a worthwhile education in a specialized field that will help them land a job. What a shame that they have to spend extra time and money to be competitive in the workforce

Of course, as we should all know, this is not true. Maybe it was at some point in time, but not now. How can I say this with such conviction? Because I know the majority of our approximately 1500 graduates, and yes, I know the majority of them personally (I have a strange ability to remember things and people), and I know what they do, and I know that most of them did not go to graduate school to do what they currently do. They went to Christendom, graduated, and then got on with their lives and worked hard to achieve the great things that they have achieved. We have alumni who are involved in just about every type of industry, with many of them now acting as leaders, managers, and directors in their workplaces, and again, the majority did not go to grad school.

And our grads are not the only ones with liberal arts degrees succeeding. There are a couple hundred liberal arts colleges in the US, and they all have their own little success stories to tell.

Now, back to the issue of grad school. If our students wish to go to grad school (law, medicine, PhD programs, MBA, etc), they are highly encouraged to do so, and for the most part, they do quite well on all the necessary entrance exams (MCATs, LSATs, GREs, etc), which enables them to gain acceptance to many schools of their choice. When they go grad school, they generally do quite well and graduate high in their classes. And we are happy for these alumni. We are happy that they chose to further their education. But it is important to make the distinction between having to go to grad school to land a job and choosing to go to one to further one’s education and possibly land a job.

Over our 34 years, about 15% of our grads have gone to graduate school (University of Virginia, William & Mary, The Angelicum, Oxford University, Notre Dame, University of Dallas, Catholic U, Harvard, etc), which, of course, means that 85% of our graduates have not. In fact, only about 9% of Americans over the age of 25 have a graduate degree, so apparently, it’s not just Christendom students who are choosing to enter the workplace following their undergrad education, but just about everyone else, too (although only about 30% of Americans over 25 have a college degree at all).

The usefulness of a liberal arts degree in finding a job in the workplace will be debated forever, most likely, and people are sometimes very stubborn in their willingness to change their minds on the subject. All I can ask is that you take a look at some actual facts, figures, and stats and make a decision on your own, without all the interference that sometimes accompanies this subject.

Read this little brochure. Especially the part that talks about the Truth about a Liberal Arts Degree:
And make sure you read more about this whole subject:

Thanks for asking about this and I hope that you are now a little more informed about the whole matter!
Director of Admissions
[email protected]
800.877.5456 ext. 1290

If anyone has questions about applying, visiting, scholarships, financial aid, campus life, rules and regulations, majors, core curriculum, transfer credits, or even about the food here at Christendom, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.