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When Paul Nason ’68, M’22 received his undergraduate degree from Merrimack, it was a very different Merrimack than the one he will receive his graduate degree from on May 20.
The virtual 2021 LEAD Awards recognized students, student-athletes and student organizations that exemplify Merrimack College values. Audrey Regan is a student who does just that. As this year’s recipient of the Merrimack Medal, Regan is known by peers, faculty and staff alike for her unwavering commitment to the spirit of the College, the relationships she fosters and her extensive leadership both on and off campus.
In her four years at Merrimack, Regan has done “everything under the sun,” she says. She is an active member of the Women’s Rowing Team, serving as their captain since 2019 and earning team MVP (Most Valuable Player) since 2018. She has been a summer orientation leader and has taught and mentored fellow classmates for the First Year Experience (FYE) program, which helps matriculating first-year students explore the college community and build friendships.
As a member of the Austin Scholars Living-Learning Community, Regan has a deep commitment to service and has logged countless hours at Merrimack and in local and international communities. Regan is now the president of Austin Scholars and has been instrumental in the program’s growth.
“People will joke that you join Austin Scholars for the great housing options,” Regan says. “But you stay because it’s such a great community. The community service aspect of it was huge for me. Even in high school, when we had to do 100 hours of community service, I did 1,000. It’s just part of who I am.”
In her role as president and as a “frequent flyer” on Merrimack’s alternative spring break SEND trips, Regan has followed her love of service across the country and around the globe. In fall 2019, Regan traveled with a small cohort of fellow students and professors to Tunisia, representing Merrimack at an international conference on St. Augustine called “Journées augustiniennes de Carthage.” While there, students engaged with fellow leaders and scholars on a wide range of global challenges such as climate change, humanitarian aid and how communities of varying faiths and backgrounds can work together.
All travels aside, Regan’s work right here in the Merrimack Valley as an intern at Lawrence Catholic Academy and other local school districts has had a remarkable impact not only on the communities she works with but also on Regan herself.
“The people I’ve met and the stories I’ve heard throughout these four years at Merrimack will stay with me forever,” Regan says. “Hearing the stories from the students in Lawrence about their struggles and their joys has been really impactful.”
While Regan’s senior year was far from what she had imagined, she says her resilience and determination helped carry her through the trials of the pandemic. Her commitment to her peers and the community at large has helped others through it as well.
“Being a part of Merrimack is something really, really special,” she says. “Even in chaotic times, we do things together. Everything we’ve been through has shaped me into who I am and helped me understand who I want to be. I’ll take that little bit of Merrimack spirit with me well after I graduate.”