Brandon Miranda was announced as the 2014 Tommie Award recipient Thursday in a tweet from the official St. Thomas Twitter account.
Miranda was chosen in a 3-day online voting process by students, faculty and staff from among two other finalists, Danielle Francen and Eden Checkol. This year, 23 seniors were nominated for the award.
“I’m in shock a little bit,” Miranda said. “I was trying to pay attention in class, and I was just like, ‘Holy crap, I just won the Tommie Award.’”
The St. Thomas Day ceremony and reception in May will honor Miranda– a political science and Catholic studies double major– and present awards to the Monsignor James Lavin Award, Professor of the Year Award, Humanitarian Award and the Distinguished Alumnus Award recipients.
The annual award, which is sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, is given to an undergraduate senior who represents St. Thomas Aquinas’ ideals through scholarship, leadership and campus involvement. Miranda has been involved in Tommie Ambassadors, Undergraduate Student Government, Concert Choir and Summit Singers, according to Tommie Award coordinator Vernon Klobassa.
Miranda said at the beginning of the contest, he didn’t expect to win but got his hopes up later on when strangers he saw around campus started saying they had voted for him.
“Going into it I was just like, ‘I’m happy with whoever wins this because I think everyone is freaking awesome,’” he said. “But then I had a little bit of suspicion when all of these random people were walking up to me.”
Miranda said his family and friends are all excited for him.
“My name’s gonna be on the wall,” he said. “It was so cool.”
Grace Pastoor, Heidi Enninga, and Caroline Rode contributed to this report.