Shenandoah University presented one of its top honors, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, to senior and Falls Church native Mariagracia Rivas Berger during the university’s commencement ceremony held on Saturday, May 11.
Sullivan awards are given to individuals of “noble character” whose “fine spiritual qualities” are “practically applied to daily living.”
Rivas Berger earned a Bachelor of Music degree in performance with a minor in piano. She is the founder, president, and executive board member of LIBERATE, a student group aimed at raising awareness about gender-related issues on campus, in the community, and around the world.
During her time at the university, she served as a resident assistant, Spanish and music theory tutor, peer sexual assault educator, volunteer for Shenandoah’s [Not Just] Women’s Center, Phone-a-thon caller, and member of the Hispanic Awareness Month and Student Success Campaign committees. Rivas Berger also performed and toured with the Conservatory Choir and the City Choir of Washington. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota, a women’s music fraternity that focuses on community service.