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BUENOS AIRES – Wednesday March 15, 2017 will mark Minerva’s third annual Quinquatria celebration, and the launch of the Minerva Laureate. The Laureate is an award created by the Laurel Legacy and honours the Minerva student who does the most to inspire others to embody their highest ideals. The award will be announced during the Quinquatria ceremony.

This Minerva Laureate was inspired through contemplation of the meaning of “Laurel” and how the “Laurel Legacy” can create an activity of value for the community. “I’m very excited to be piloting this new award to not only bring a new meaning to our Legacy and the traditions of Quinquatria, but also for us as a way to give back to the community and honour what we stand for” says Adrian Goedeckemeyer, a class of 2019 member of the Laurel Legacy.

In February, students had the opportunity to nominate fellow classmates who they felt embodied the idea of not “resting on one’s Laurels.” Students are not bound to nominate members of their own cohort, but cannot nominate members of the Laurel Legacy. One award will be awarded per cohort. Beginning March 1, members of the Laurel Legacy reviewed the nominations and will decide which student best fits the profile of the Minerva Laureate. With this year being the first iteration of the Minerva Laureate award, the process of determining who will receive the award will continue to be refined in the coming years.

Michael Yang, another class of 2019 member of the Laurel Legacy points out how the award helps to give some purpose and clarity to the Minerva Legacy system, and the Minerva values: “So, Legacies were/are this kind of strange thing that our founder dearest dropped into our laps, and I think that a good portion of us don’t know what to do with it. On a unrelated note, I think there is tension about what we want our community values to be, and what they actually are. The award is a good way to provide some explicit recognition of something that our legacy at least feels is important.”

The inspiration for the physical Laureate award, much like the Quinquatria ceremony, dates back to Roman times. Founding class member of the Laurel Legacy Gabriella Grahek asked Minerva Founder Ben Nelson for insight on what aspects of the ancient tradition might be inspiration for a modern day award.  Ben Nelson said, “In the main day of Quinquatria (March 19th) in honour of Minerva, students would present gifts to their pedagogues and flautists would lead processions.” Inspired from this tradition, the Minerva Laureate award is a flute to blend the ancient with the present.

The Laurel Legacy proceeded to acquire the Minerva Laureate award for Quinquatria 2017 from a location in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The flute will remain the physical incarnation of the award each year, but it will be one that is culturally specific to each location the cohort that is presenting the award is based.

Students in the class of 2019 are looking forward to the Quinquatria ceremony and learning who will be the first ever recipient of the Minerva Laureate Award.

More about the Minerva Laurel Legacy can be found at http://minervalaurel.weebly.com/.