Diggins named the 2022 – 2023 Fr. Bernard Holmes Scholar

August 29, 2022

Jessica Diggins ’23, an English major with a philosophy and American studies double minor, from Berlin, Mass., has been selected as the Fr. Bernard Holmes, O.S.B., Scholar for the 2022-2023 academic year.

The award is presented annually to an incoming senior, and provides a full tuition scholarship for the student’s final year at Saint Anselm College. Holmes Scholars show concern for and work to provide assistance to others, demonstrate leadership potential, and actively participate in the life of the college.

“Saint Anselm College and its community have given me so much, and I am grateful every day to be able to benefit from the graces of this wonderful school,” shared Diggins. “I have had the opportunity to learn more about Father Bernard Holmes these past few months, and am truly inspired by his impact on our wonderful school; I hope to emulate his strong faith and commitment to his community in all of my future endeavors.”

Diggins holds a number of leadership roles across campus, serving as a resident assistant, a peer tutor in the Academic Resource Center (ARC), a peer minister in Campus Ministry, and the president and founding member of our Little Sisters of Saint Benedict. She also has been named to the Dean’s list and is a member of the Delta Epsilon Honor Society.

As a peer minister, Diggins works to foster a faith community through faith-sharing groups, developing educational programs, and more. She has continued that work through the Little Sisters of Saint Benedict women’s group, a group of Catholic women seeking to further embody their faith and support one another in their spiritual practice. She has also been a leader in advocating to make the College more accessible for people with disabilities. 

“[Jessica] is involved and engaged in her community not to be popular or build up her resume, but because it’s just a part of who she is - to care for and lead others,” shares Jocelyn Raho, campus minister. “Hearing her perspective on the world and her relationships with her peers I can easily forget she’s only 20 years old. She has such a bright future ahead of her, and the world has no idea how blessed it is that she is up and coming into it. There is no doubt she will go places, touch hearts, and make impactful change.”

After graduation next spring, Diggins plans to pursue a career in special education. She has been accepted into the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE). 

“I am beyond grateful for the educational, spiritual, and professional opportunities that Saint A’s has given me, which have led me to this opportunity,” explains Diggins. “Following my time with ACE, I hope to continue to work with Catholic schools, both by teaching English and by serving as an advocate for making Catholic education more accessible and welcoming to people with disabilities.”

Dr. Favazza and Chancellor Abbot Mark Cooper, O.S.B., presented Diggins with a certificate in recognition of her award during the college's opening Mass on August 29, 2022 in the Abbey Church. The scholarship was established through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Davison, in memory of Fr. Bernard Holmes, O.S.B., former president of the college.

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