July 22, 2024

Emily Fasteson and Shaeleigh Boynton Named Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the Class of 2024


Assumption University has announced that Emily Fasteson, a Theology and Mathematics double major, has been named Valedictorian, and Shaeleigh Boynton, a Psychology major, has been named Salutatorian for the Class of 2024.

At the Commencement ceremony on May 12, Fasteson will deliver the Valedictory Address, and Boynton will introduce the Commencement speaker for this year’s ceremony: Dr. Aaron Dominguez, Provost of the Catholic University of America and Physics Professor.

Fasteson is from Seekonk, Massachusetts, and is a member of multiple on-campus organizations. She is a head tutor in the Academic Support Center, a student leader in Campus Ministry, and a member of the Theology Club. At this year’s Honors Convocation, Fasteson received Departmental Major Awards in Mathematics and Theology, the Ray Marion Award in recognition of outstanding academic performance, and the Donec Formetur Christus Presidential Award.

Following her graduation from Assumption, Fasteson will attend the University of Notre Dame, where she will pursue her Master’s degree in systematic theology. This program is fully funded, with a stipend, and only accepts 20 students per year, with a 10-15% acceptance rate, according to Assumption Theology Professor Rachel Coleman.

“This honor speaks to the transformative power of a Catholic liberal education. I have been shaped both personally and intellectually by my Assumption education,” Fasteson said. “When I first came to Assumption, I had a clear plan for my life. However, in taking seriously the questions my professors asked me to grapple with in my courses, I developed a wider and richer understanding of reality, causing me to shift my original focus and pursue a theology major in addition to my existing major in mathematics.”

Boynton is from Wrentham, Massachusetts, and is the President of the Psychology Club. She is also an active member of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. At this year’s Honors Convocation, Boynton received the Departmental Major Award in Psychology with a Concentration in Child and Adolescent Development.

Following her graduation from Assumption, Boynton will remain at the University, having been accepted to pursue her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. She will begin her graduate studies this fall.

“To stand on stage during Commencement and look out to see my fellow Class of 2024 Hounds is the greatest honor imaginable,” Boynton said. “We have come so far together, and the sight of everyone wearing their graduation caps and gowns will be a moment that stays with me forever.”

“My success can be attributed to the support of the community around me,” Boynton continued. “I am forever grateful for the opportunities and experiences that Assumption has provided for me over the last four years, and I am excited to continue my education on a graduate level in Applied Behavior Analysis here at Assumption University.”

Fasteson and Boynton were chosen for these honors by the Valedictorian and Salutatorian Committee, which consists of:

Ms. Brenna Aylward, President of the Class of 2024

Ms. Jacqueline Chlapowski, Chair of the Commencement Committee

Dr. Eloise Knowlton, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs (chair)

Mr. Noah Laren, Vice President of the Class of 2024

Dr. Frank Prior, Professor of Sociology

Dr. Christian Williams, Professor of Human Services


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