Haylie Butler ’17 Selected as Class of 2017 Valedictorian

Haylie M. Butler ’17, of Rossmoor, Calif., has been selected to deliver the Class of 2017 valedictory address at the Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 26.

Butler is a Spanish and biology double major in the Health Professions Advising Program. She is a member of both the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Honor Society and Phi Beta Kappa, and has recently been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Spain, where she will be teaching English to high school students in the region of Galicia.

While at Holy Cross, Butler founded XCHROM, an organization that empowers young women in science in underprivileged communities. She served as the lead organizer for the inaugural Women in Science Day for young women from both Worcester high schools and Holy Cross; has been involved with genetics research under the guidance of Geoffrey Findlay, assistant professor of biology; and was a STEM+E tutor. Butler was also the founder and chair of the Holy Cross figure skating club; a leader for the Nicaragua immersion program after previously traveling to El Salvador on an immersion trip; a member of the women’s varsity volleyball team; and served as secretary for Students for Responsible Choices. She spent the summer and fall of 2015 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the spring of 2016 in Costa Rica through Holy Cross' study abroad program.

Following her Fulbright, Butler plans to pursue a year-long research position in the United States or work for a public health nonprofit in South America through a Princeton in Latin America Fellowship, for which she is a finalist. Her long-term goals include attending medical school to obtain a joint M.D./M.P.H. and completing an OB/GYN or pediatrics residency with a fellowship in neonatology or maternal fetal medicine.

Butler was selected as valedictorian from a group of academically outstanding members of the senior class, each of whom submitted speeches for consideration. The Valedictorian Selection Committee — composed of senior students, faculty members and administrators — reviewed the submissions, and the final selection was made by Margaret Freije, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College.

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