Karen Stiegler '21 was selected as the 2021 Cor Unum Award Recipient by the Ursuline Alumnae Association. The award is given to one senior each year. Candidates are judged solely on their love for Ursuline Academy and their honest expression of what the Academy means to them.
What does it mean to you to be in the 294th graduating class of Ursuline Academy of New Orleans?
If I’m being honest, I don’t have a lot of very strong feelings about Sir Isaac Newton. I don’t imagine that many people do — I think we are all quite content with acknowledging his position as an infamous physicist and moving along with our individual lives. Although Sir Isaac Newton hasn’t exactly touched me personally, he is credited with a popular English metaphor, that is, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
I think about the giants that used to roam around Ursuline all the time, clumsily stumbling through girlhood and into womanhood. There is physical evidence covering every square inch of campus of all the giants that came before me, and if you decide to start looking for it, you will notice that it is impossible to miss.
What does it mean to me, then, to have the privilege of being the 294th graduating class? It means that I have had the opportunity to stand on the shoulders of all of the giants who came before me; by them (the Ursuline sisters, students, teachers, and more), I am connected to Ursuline from now until the end of my life — and hopefully beyond that through my legacy. I have seen farther because of all 293 classes before me, and every class that follows in my footsteps will see farther as well. I hope that they see this, and
everything I have done at Ursuline, as my expression of love, and express their love as well.