Cruz ’18 and Larrieu ’18 named Mario Award winners

News  /  by Jonathan D'Souza '19  /  March 31, 2017

Olalla Duato '18 / The Lawrence

At last week’s school meeting, Victoria Cruz ’18 of the McClellan House and Andres Larrieu ’18 of the Kennedy House were named this year’s Jeremy K. Mario ’88 Award winners. The prestigious award rewards two Circle or Crescent students who demonstrate a genuine willingness to improve spirit and community within their Houses. Winners of the Mario Award receive $5,000 for a mini-term abroad, $1,000 for a House celebration, and $2,000 in general funding for their Houses.

“Pretty into the arts,” Larrieu is a member of The Larries, an a capella group; The Lawrentians; Impulse; Winterfest; and the Fall Musical. He also writes for “The Contour.”

Cruz is the president of the McClellan House, a writer for The Lawrence, an editor of “Olla Podrida,” and the president of the Feminism Club. She also does advanced dance, manages the boys basketball team, and participates in community service with pre-schoolers.

Larrieu and Cruz sat down with The Lawrence for an interview:

Jonathan D’Souza ’18: Can you explain the Mario Award's significance to you?

Andres Larrieu ’18: It’s a huge honor. Not only does it benefit the House, but it gives us recognition for serving and representing the house in the best way.

Victoria Cruz ’18: The award was unexpected because House spirit has to come from yourself, and it is not usually anything that gets rewarded or recognized. The spirit of the House has gone up a bit, and I think it was a great way to start off the Spring Term

JD: How would you describe the ways you bolster House spirit?

AL: I always try to make sure everyone feels included within Kennedy. I always try to make sure that everyone is having fun and enjoying their experience here, just like I am.

VC: I always try to keep morale up and stress the fact that we are all McSisters. When I came in as a new III Former, I just had such a welcoming and inclusive group of people in McClellan. [...] I just try to semi-replicate that feeling to anyone new who comes into the House.

JD: Why do you choose to give back so much to your house and the community? What drives you?

AL: Coming to Lawrenceville as an international student was a culture shock, but luckily I had prefects that were really approachable. [...] I wanted to make sure that [new kids] blended into the House spirit as quickly as I did.

VC: I want to say a huge thank you to [Housemaster of McClellan and Mathematics Master] Charise Hall, [Assistant Housemaster of McClellan and Science Master] Jeff Streeter.