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Department ofPolitical Science


Eoin Lyons at podium

Eoin Lyons at podium

“Fly Higher”

Political Science senior Eoin Lyons addresses the Class of 2019 as this year’s Valedictorian

Political Science senior Eoin Lyons addresses the Class of 2019 as this year’s Valedictorian

By Ally O'Conner '20

On June 15th, 2019, Santa Clara University celebrated the Class of 2019 at the 168th Annual Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony. Among the many talented graduates, political science major Eoin Lyons stood out. As class Valedictorian, he addressed his fellow graduates, impressing on them to “fly higher.”

“Today, I ask you to put aside that fear of flying too close to the sun. When you witness sexism or gender-based discrimination in the workplace, fly higher. When you are tasked with making the choice between material comforts and environmental justice, fly higher. When you’re confronted by rhetoric antithetical to your values, engage with it and fly higher.”

Encouraging his classmates to “fly higher” in the face of difficulty and injustice, Lyons was chosen as Valedictorian for his outstanding academic achievement and University service. Over his four years at SCU, Lyons served as Chair of the Current University Issues Committee of Associated Student Government, Chapter President for the Jesuit honors society, Alpha Sigma Nu, Co-Chair for Recruitment and Mentorship of Student Ambassadors, Program Manager of Global Fellows, Program Director and Founder of Leavey Ambassadors, and a Hackworth Fellow for Applied Ethics. He was also a Johnson Scholar and a member of the Global Medical Brigades, the Peer Conduct Board, the Student Affairs University Policy Committee, Sigma Chi and Alpha Kappa Psi fraternities, Beta Gamma Sigma and Pi Sigma Alpha honors societies, the University Honors Program, the Accelerated Cooperative Education Leadership Program, and SCU’s Dean’s List.

“There are few students at Santa Clara that will leave such a widespread impact as Eoin Lyons,” says Grace Hartman, SCU’s Senior Associate Director of Admission. “While Eoin is hyper-involved, his positive attitude, genuine care for others, and dry sense of humor are what I will remember most. I’ll remember how comfortable he made others feel across campus, and how he can command a room while engaging everyone in it. Humble, almost to a fault, Eoin is seen across campus as an incredible leader, reliable, and willing to show up for others. His impact on the Class of 2019 is immense, but his impact on Santa Clara University will be felt for many years to come.”

When asked about his experience as Valedictorian, Lyons said, “It was such an incredible honor to speak to the Class of 2019. I would not be where I am today without the support and community I have experienced over the last four years.”

Now an alumnus of Santa Clara University, Lyons will begin a full-time career in San Francisco as an Advisory Associate in Risk Consulting at KPMG.


student story, polihome