Downs Earns Father Prevel Memorial Award at 115th Saint Michael's Commencement

Downs Earns Father Prevel Memorial Award at 115th Saint Michael's Commencement

Commencement Photos

COLCHESTER, Vt. - Men's cross country's James Downs (Winchester, Mass./Winchester) was recognized with the Father Prevel Memorial Award, one of Saint Michael's College's two major senior awards, during the school's 115th Commencement on Sunday in a ceremony on the Durick Library green.

The Prevel Award is given to an outstanding student in the graduating class who has maintained a high level of academic achievement over four years, and has demonstrated commitment to the intellectual, social and moral values of the College by numerous and exemplary contributions to the life of the campus community. Heading into the spring semester, Downs carried a 3.99 cumulative grade-point average as a triple major in English, history and religious studies, with a minor in medieval studies. A male student-athlete earned the Prevel Award for the second consecutive year, after baseball's Alex Mendez '21 was lauded in 2021. Earlier this week, Downs earned the Department of Athletics' Roger F. Keleher '15 Award as the class' top male scholar-athlete.

Downs returned to form this past fall after appearing in only one race as a sophomore and junior. He was among the Purple Knights' scorers at all six races as a senior captain, taking 25th overall at the Aldrich Invitational and sixth during the Vermont Intercollegiate Championship. Downs nabbed the Purple and Gold's sixth scoring position at the Northeast-10 Conference Championship and set a 10K personal record (36:04.7) at the NCAA East Regional Championship, when he was the fifth Purple Knight to cross the finish line.

The Dean's List and Honors student qualified for the NE10 Academic Honor Roll each semester of college and landed a pair of Division 2 Athletics Directors Association (D2 ADA) Academic Achievement Awards. Downs has been involved with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Edmundite Campus Ministry, VITA peer ministry and Founders Society, and has served as an Admission open house coordinator, tour guide, writing coach, teaching assistant and researcher. He holds membership in the Chi Alpha Sigma (college athlete), Phi Alpha Theta (history) and Theta Alpha Kappa (religion) honor societies. Following graduation, Downs will join Washington, D.C.-based National Journal as a copy editor.

The Athletics influence was felt elsewhere at Commencement, as women's ice hockey senior Gabriella Dicomitis (Warwick, R.I./Williston Northampton School) delivered the senior address. Three of the senior class' four officers were student-athletes, as swimmers Myron Prograis (Etters, Pa./Cedar Cliff) and Sean McGurn (Braintree, Mass./Braintree) served as president and vice president, respectively, while men's cross country runner Jake Donnelly (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) was treasurer.