Gathje joins 49 other alum as 50th recipient of top honor

The Mount Michael award is given each year to a student who embodies all the school hopes to instill in its students. Jacob Gathje ’20 is the 50th student to receive this award. On April 29 the awards were posted live in a modified awards ceremony due to restriction in place due to Covid19. Photo Illustration courtesy of communications director John VonDollen ’12

With every graduation, there are several awards given. At Mount Michael an award is given each year that is considered the highest honor.

The Mount Michael Award is given to someone who “excels in academics, extra-curricular activities, service, and attitude.” This year, the recipient of this award was Jacob Gathje ‘20.

Gathje has learned a lot in four years that go beyond academics, especially being open to conversations and new experiences.

“[I learned to be] willing to interact with anyone, I just talked to everyone,” he said, “I learned a lot from that about how to improve and be better with others.”

Gathje is seen as a leader in his class, especially by his peers.

“He’s really a man of integrity, and he treats everyone with as much kindness and respect as I’ve ever seen. He’s truly a great guy to be around,” Brayden Whitaker ‘20 said.

This openness to new people and sociability is part of why teachers nominated him for the award, however, Gathje also excelled in academics and extracurricular activities.

“Jacob is an impressive student,” English teacher Eileen Sullivan said. “Since his freshman year, he has been active in a wide array of activities at MM, from cross country and track to speech and band.. In these activities and in school, Jacob maintains a positive attitude and is driven to improve his abilities.”

Beyond this, Sullivan appreciated most his contribution to the student body.

“He is a great example of leadership for the school: assertive, kind, respectful, and well-rounded,”
She said.

Gathje now takes his place amongst 49 other alums who have received the award since the seminary transitioned to a high school.

“It’s an incredible moment to win that award,” Gathe said. “I’ve been around Mount Michael my whole life and seen amazing guys win this award, so I’m proud that I’m mentioned in the same breath. It stuck out to me that I was the 50th person to receive the award and it means so much to me that my teachers and classmates think so highly of me.”

The Mount is produced by the students of Mount Michael Benedictine School.