We encourage you to browse these student reflections, centered around the 2013-14 theme of "Magis - More."
Claire Burns
Josh Pudlowski
Paul Harned
Shauna Krause
Jeremy Kamper
Shannon Strecker
Megan McCool
Tyler Scroggs
Shauna Bauml
Connor Moynihan
Caitlin Yeargain
Cecilia Lopez
Peter Soukenik
Maggie Bernard
Beverly Ziegler
Ryan Marian
Ani Haroian
Luke Beckett
Kyle Whiston
Megan Jeffries
Sam Mueckl
Stefani Paul
Christian Lamb

Mitch Findley
Erika Stuchlik
Megan Nitchals
Seán Kane
Caitlyn Tilden
Cait Staed


Claire Burns, '14, is a native of Omaha and an elementary education major.   Throughout her years at Rockhurst she has been involved in the leadership of Orientation, Retreat on the Rock, Karaoke for a Cause and much more!  Claire is a proud two-time intramural soccer champion and is very fond of Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard.  She will be staying in KC next year, rocking her first year of teaching second graders at Notre Dame de Sion. 

The past four years have been such a wild ride. Rockhurst has provided me with a mixture of love and laughter, struggle and success, opportunity and experience. My time at Rockhurst has proved to be a life-changing experience where I have continually strived for the Magis. I have found that the most valuable way I live the Magis is by putting more into everything I do. The more time, effort, and passion I put into something, the more I get out of it in the long run and, importantly, the more fully it benefits others. This not only stands true for academics but also for relationships, leadership opportunities, and immersion experiences.  

As a coordinator for Orientation and Retreat on the Rock, I was blessed with the opportunity to interact with people I would not have crossed paths with else wise. Through these experiences, I found that Magis flows from all sorts of places at the Nest. The people I came to know from these experiences exemplified what it means to live the Magis. Their dedication and passion inspired me to strive for the Magis in all that I do. I came to realize that going an extra step, spending a little more time, or stepping outside of my comfort zone have helped me live the Magis. By living the Magis, I am developing into the person I want to be, becoming more comfortable with who I am and what I do.

I graduate in three days. It used to be a terrifying thought to graduate from college and be on my own. However, I am confident that my four years at Rockhurst have prepared me to do just that. I look forward to living the Magis in my post-grad life; always taking that next step when presented, being intentional with whom and how I spend my time, and challenging myself to finding new ways to explore the world. This is how I plan to live out the Magis, always growing into a stronger leader, teacher, friend, and woman.

Josh Pudlowski, '16, ia a resident of Omaha and St. Louis native.  Josh is majoring in civil engineering, a challenging major that he thoroughly enjoys.  He has served the Rockhurst community in a variety of roles including Rockstar, Ambassador and Orientation leader.  He looks forward to enjoying his summer in Kansas City and getting to explore the city even more fully. 

I have been at Rockhurst for almost 2 years now and I have noticed that Rockhurst has summoned me to live the magis not just in terms of quantity but rather quality.  I feel myself wanting to strive towards doing things the right way and doing them to the best of my ability rather than just giving half the effort towards many things.  I think my teachers and advisors have summoned me to a greater depth and excellence, but I have noticed my peers pushing me to strive even further.  My teachers and advisors have given the base of the effort that I need to do to succeed, but my friends and classmates take that and try to make me do even more. 

 I have enjoyed these challenges at Rockhurst.  Some of these challenges have been in the classroom, however many have been outside the classroom.   It is has been my peers that have pushed me to become a Rockstar, an Ambassador, and an Orientation leader because they thought I would be good for the various roles.  It is nice to have this push from peers rather than from just adults.  It truly makes you feel as if you would be a good leader because people your own age have recognized you as one.  Having this experience has made me want to strive to do the best job possible in these respective roles, and I believe all of them have gone very well. 

My peers have been with me through the rough times and the good times.  They have pushed me to be more than I thought I could be.  I have taken their advice and have strived to do the best I can at welcoming new students to Rockhurst, helping prospective students decide whether they want to go to Rockhurst, and getting them excited about the idea of coming to our school.  I hope through the positions I have held on campus that I have been able to affect a few students or perspective students in a good way.  If I have done that, then I believe I have successfully lived out the magis.

Paul Harned, '14, is a psychology major from Springfield, Mo. He is a newly confirmed Catholic and will be serving in Ashland, Mont., with Jesuit Volunteers Corps Northwest starting in August.

At this year’s Easter Vigil, I was confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church as “Paul Michael John (the Silent).” “John (the Silent)” is who I chose as my confirmation saint (i.e. someone who you aspire to be like and who can pray for you from heaven). He was given his surname, “the Silent,” because of his love for silence and recollection. I chose him as my confirmation saint because the “Magis” derives from silence for me. More specifically, I define “silence” in two ways: 1) silence while not conversing and 2) silence while conversing. I like to think of “silence while not conversing” as being alone in my room or walking around campus without any outside noise, such as the television or music. “Silence while conversing” means thinking before speaking; in other words, it means speaking not with a knee-jerk reaction. Both of these kinds of silence lead me to “Ignatian indifference,” which is different from “indifference” defined as “lack of interest.” Rather, it is, as Father James Martin explains it, “the ability to be detached from one’s initial biases and to step back, the willingness to carefully balance the alternatives. An openness to the working of God in one’s life.” Ignatian indifference is what ignites my soul and leads to a mind-blowing process of continual discovery. It is what inspires the “Magis” in my life.

Shauna Krause, '16, is from Lincoln, Neb., and is majoring in biology and minoring in psychology. She is involved in Theta Phi Alpha, CLC, contemporary choir, and is a Resident Assistant. Something on Shauna’s bucket list is to go sky diving one day.

This past spring break I was given the incredible opportunity to participate in a service immersion trip to Belize. I can’t say I had an idea in my mind as to what I was expecting, but the reality of serving did not sink in until I met the local people. Immediately from the first encounter, we felt welcomed and loved. This first encounter was attending Mass on Sunday morning. During the sign of peace, many locals left their pews and came to greet every one of us individually, and thank us for our service; some even gave us hugs. They showed us this love even though we hadn’t begun our project, and even more than that, they had never met any of us.  This welcoming we received is a pure example of Magis. Their lives are simple, and they may not have the most riches in the world’s eyes; however, they are grateful and happy and spread these gifts to all whom they meet. I now strive to keep that welcome in my heart and show it to all I now encounter. Our time on earth is a precious thing, so our actions and words need to reflect how precious life is.

Jeremy Kamper,'17, is a nursing major from St. Louis, Mo., who is currently involved with Student Senate, Relay for Life and Campus Ministry. 

Recently, I came across an article online that was titled "30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself." One of the points was "stop trying to be someone you are not." The article explained that in this world everyone is trying to compete against each other but that we need to step back and realize that we all have our own unique gifts and talents. Someone will always be smarter, more athletic and younger, but they will never be you. Our challenge is to accept who we are and to realize our fullest potential. Magis means using our God-given gifts and talents in our daily lives. Our talents are God's gift to us, and what we do with them is our gift to God. However, we can always strive for more, the Magis. This can be done in a variety of ways but just remember to be true to yourself, and anything can be accomplished. 

Shannon Strecker,'17, is from Topeka, Kan., and in the pre-physical therapy program at Rockhurst.  She is an active participant of Student Senate, women’s cross country, SAAC, CLC and Greek Life.

When I reflect on my experience here during my first semester at Rockhurst, I immediately think of the many friendships I have formed.  People always talk about the amazing sense of community here and how it is so easy to feel welcomed, and I truly believe that the community is what has summoned me to live the Magis.  Magis is about having and giving more in life, especially in terms of quality rather than quantity.  The strong friendships and connections I have made with others have helped me to appreciate life more and the amazing people that go along with it.  Through organizations, retreats, orientation and just walking around campus, I have made more quality friendships than I have ever had, and these quality relationships have inspired me to embrace Magis in everything of which I am a part.  The Rockhurst experience and Magis co-exist for me; they are complimentary and inseparable.

Megan McCool,'16, is studying English and secondary education. She hails from Tulsa, Okla., and serves as the secretary of Voices for Justice.

"Compassion is entering the chaos.” This is what Father Curran shared with my group and I as we reflected on our experiences at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. As I heard this unconventional definition of “compassion,” I was stunned. I had never before thought of compassion in that way, but that is the exact meaning of compassion. Compassion is allowing oneself to succumb to the uncertain and unexplainable fears, trials, and obstacles of others. It is permitting oneself to take on the “more” of people’s struggles. By this, I mean that compassion is truly and completely making others’ plights and difficulties one’s own. Exhibiting true compassion is allowing oneself to embrace more of life’s tragedies, complications, and unknowns.

As I reflect on my time spent with the Lakota people, a phrase that I learned sticks with me: “Mitakuye Oyasin” or “We are all related.” I hope to enter the chaos of other’s lives more often and more fully. My desire is to use these new chaotic, untidy experiences for “the greater glory of God.” 

Tyler Scroggs, '15, a Springfield (MO) native, is a business student concentrating in management and working as a contract manager at Cerner Corporation. He currently serves as public relations chair of the Social Activities Board, executive vice president of Alpha Delta Gamma, and as a member of the Student Giving Committee and Delta Sigma Pi. His favorite color is red and he plans to open his own business someday.

Magis is pushing your limits and striving for better and greater than you can vividly imagine. It’s failing and learning from your mistakes. It’s overcoming adversity and learning to trust in your fellow man. Magis can be found in Mabee chapel at 10:10, but it can also be found in late-night field trips to Taco Bell, hugs between close friends, and the beating of a drum at a soccer game. Magis is all about striving for perfection and achieving excellence. We each have an innate motivation to improve ourselves and our surroundings.

Magis is the strength one has to get up after falling and the gut propulsion to want to be the best. Ambition inspires greatness, but magis is also about greeting unwanted results with optimism and positivity. Part of magis is having the wisdom to know that you don’t know everything and that you can’t always be the best; we have teachers and mentors in our lives that can help us learn and grow. We each have strengths and talents that set us apart from others, and it is to our advantage to spend our time enhancing these rather than highlighting our weaknesses. Ad Dei Gloriam

Shauna Bauml,'14, is senior nursing major with a political science minor from Independence, Mo.  She is a member of the women’s basketball team, the Relay for Life committee, Pi Sigma Alpha political science honor society, Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit National Honor Society, CLC, and the Research College of Nursing Student Government Association.

I am now in my last semester here at Rockhurst University, and it feels hard to believe that I only have a few months left walking these halls. In my time here I have taken on many roles – leader, athlete, friend, lector and learner. Through these roles I have grown and learned more about myself. Yet, I never would have predicted the most important role I would take on after coming to Rockhurst, and that is the role of a disciple. I have always made it a goal to continually become a better person in my day to day life; however, God has called me to much more than that. Last spring I went on a service immersion trip to Belize. It was there in which my eyes and heart were opened to the ultimate calling God had for me, to be a disciple of His teachings and spread His love and joy to others. When I was in high school I had big hopes for college, I wanted more out of life, to meet new people and have new experiences. At Rockhurst, I have found my “more,” my Magis. My relationship with God has grown to a deeper, more intimate level in my time here, and it is through this loving, heavenly relationship in which I’ve found my Magis, my calling to be His disciple.

Connor Moynihan, '17

Every day, I turn on the t.v. or read the newspaper and see countless stories in which so much hatred is shown or so much sadness found.  I think to myself that I want to do more in the world not only during my four years at Rockhurst but after as well.   

Throughout this year, I have been volunteering at Children’s TLC, a preschool that helps kids who challenges in life, whether it be physical or mental.  As I consider living the magis beyond Rockhurst, I want to devote more of myself and my time to helping kids. 

In an effort to live the magis, I want to focus more on my prayer life, devoting more time to talking to God and thanking him for making everything that I am and do possible.  Without God, I could not even wonder or plan how I want to live the magis beyond Rockhurst.

I also want to do more service to the community.  From my perspective, there is really too much wrong evidenced in the world.  I want to do my part in trying to fix that.  I want to put myself in the communities where suffering exists and make sure the kids have someone with whom to talk.  I want to help rebuild dilapidated areas as well.

Finally, living the magis, I strive to do more for my family.  My family has been the backbone of my life, especially my educational career.  I want to be more of a family person and show my family the respect they truly deserve.

This is how I hope to live the “more” in my life beyond Rockhurst, striving to make more of a change in the lives of people and in society even if it is just a slight or minimal change.  I want to make it more than I have thought about before.

Caitlin Yeargain, '14, is a transfer student from Southeast Missouri State University. Caitlin will be graduating in May with a BA in Political Science, and will begin the accelerated nursing program this fall at Research.  Caitlin is a charter member of Gamma Phi Beta as well as the Vice President of Pubic Relations for ENACTUS; she is also a member of a CLC.   Caitlin is very excited to travel to Belize over spring break on service immersion trip.

Like any well-formed Jesuit-educated student, I had to do my "research" before offering my reflection.  According to Wikipedia, magis is taken from Ad majorem Dei gloriam, which means "For the Greater Glory of God."   Whatever we do, we should reflect on what more we can do in the service of God and, here on earth, that leads to what we can do for others.

As college students, the LAST thing we want to hear is that we need to be busy doing “more” things.  But magis isn't demanding that we drive ourselves crazy by never stopping and by making “more” an infinite term.  Magis can mean smiling at a stranger as you pass or listening to a friend who has had a rough day.  Although solving world peace and ending hunger would be awesome, I don't think that is what Ignatius had in mind.  To me, magis is another one of the quality reflection tools that the Jesuits use to look at life and focus it on God.

Cecilia Lopez, '15, is an international business major from El Salvador. Cecilia is a member of Delta Sigma Pi and in her free time loves to read and write short stories.

As I learn more about Rockhurst students’ dedication to live out the magis, I finally understand that magis is fulfilling your greater potential by helping fulfill others’. Isolation can never help us reach our greater potential. Only through the giving of our time, care and effort are we able to grow and become better people. Only through sacrifice and compassion do we learn the lessons of patience, kindness and love. Every day, students at Rockhurst live out the magis. Living as a community and helping each other reach that greater potential. We find the magis in the faces of those we love and help or in the ones that help us in our journey to become greater people. I have found the commitment and the strength of the ones that surround me and am humbled by their dedication to becoming better persons not for selfish reasons but to help build a better future for everyone. We are tomorrow’s leaders, and we understand that only by serving we can lead.business major from El Salvador. Cecilia is a member of Delta Sigma Pi and in her free time loves to read and write short stories.

Peter Soukenik, '16, is a political science and accounting major from St. Louis, Mo. He is an Orientation Coordinator and proud Student Senator.

As someone who recently spent ten weeks on crutches, I understand that we are people of finite energy and resources. Being asked to do more during college when we are often too busy is a hard task to handle. However, if you can find the time, it is a worthwhile challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone. Magis does not have to be about pushing yourself to do the most you can or to be perfect in the activities of which you are already a part. Magis can be about trying brand new things or engaging in a familiar activity in a new way. Last November, I was driving to my beloved sacred zone, Jimmy Johns, when I stopped at a red light and for some reason felt compelled to talk to a homeless man on the corner. Oddly, he didn’t ask me for anything but a ride to a local charity shop to pick up a new backpack. Perhaps you have seen this man, he has a graying red beard and bright blue eyes and often occupies the intersection of Main and Emanuel Cleaver. Well, without saying too much, this man in one car ride changed my entire outlook on life. I know it sounds crazy that this random moment could actually mean so much, but it did and it all spun out of me deciding to step out of my comfort zone. There are beautiful things all around us, all we have to do is open our eyes and move our feet to places they have never been.

Maggie Bernard, '15, is from Overland Park, Kan., and majoring in education and Spanish and minoring in history and theology. She is a member of KDP (the Education Honors Society), CLC, Choir, APO and Social Mentors Steering Committee. She is also very excited to be serving in the Dominican Republic over spring break.

Magis has always eluded me. It sounded too different, mystical might be the best way I can describe it. “The more” seems easy, sure. But I’m a perfectionist. I try to give 100% to everything I do, and I try to do a lot. Until last year, I never understood that it was the more, not the most. That was a lesson I learned the hard way through over extending myself and, ultimately, losing my sense of worth. Now I aim for Magis. I fail, consistently. But I think the effort is half the battle. To me, Magis is the time I take to drink a cup of tea and relax at the end of my day. Magis is the prayer I say when I walk home. Magis is the extra time I spend with a friend. For me, Magis is not a lofty goal or the need for perfection in life. Instead, I have come to understand that the best way for me to live out Magis is through the small things I do every day to better myself and to improve my relationships with God and others. With Magis I try, every day, to be better.

Beverly Ziegler, '17, is a Tulsa native and in the Pre-Physical Therapy program at Rockhurst. She is an active participant in Student Senate, Women’s Cross Country, Exercise and Sports Science Club, and Campus Ministry.  She loves the Rockhurst life!

As I write this on the eve of my departure for the New Orleans Service Immersion Trip, I reflect on what has brought me to this moment in life. I have only been at Rockhurst for a semester, yet I have already been greatly impacted by this community. Being here has enticed Magis in me.  If it had not been for the people and attitude at Rockhurst, I would not be about to embark on this trip to New Orleans, something that is new, scary and exciting. That is what the Magis is. It is not simply doing more. Magis is doing something even though it scares you or takes you out of your comfort zone. Magis is doing something that will help you to grow in love for God, for others and for yourself. New Orleans is my Magis because it has inspired more love, more generosity and more faith in my life.

Ryan Marian, '14, is pursuing a BSBA in marketing with aspirations to continue his career in the music industry after graduation. His favorite Rockhurst days have been spent as an Orientation Coordinator, a proud member of the city walled Alpha Delta Gamma – Zeta Chapter and in various roles within Voices for Justice including chairman of Karaoke for a Cause. His advice for all students: make Kansas City your home, get uncomfortable and eat more Pub cookie twisters.

The Jesuit core value of Magis never fails to bring me back to freshman year – a time in which the life I chose to lead would begin to unfold into a future that seemed limitless. The future is, in fact, limitless as Magis suggests. However, over time, this can be a difficult belief to hold on to.

More specifically, I am reminded of late night discussions in the chapel, pondering dreams and aspirations with friends, new and old. The community we began to create then and continue to foster now is what Magis really means to me. It’s essential that we commit ourselves to challenge one another to only live a life of passion. While that might not always provide us with stability or security, it is fundamental to our self-discovery and self-fulfillment.

Those late chapel nights always had a soundtrack, so it’s only fitting that I share a song as well. As you listen: close your eyes, reaffirm yourself with the talents you possess, and make a commitment to live greater.

Ani Haroian, 16, is graduate of Cor Jesu Academy in St. Louis and is majoring in Spanish and secondary education. She wants to teach English in a Spanish-speaking country.  

In eighth grade we were asked to make a poster that embodied our mission statement.  I remember being perplexed by this task at the age of 13.  I chose a quote spoken by St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, the foundress of my school, and put it on the poster.  I really thought nothing of it until the day when we had to present our statements to our classmates. The quote read, "We cultivate a very small field for Christ but we love it, knowing that God does not require great achievements, but a heart that holds back nothing for self," and realized that these words were my mission statement for my life. 

When asked to write a personal reflection about Magis, I was just as perplexed as that day in 2007. During some reflection on a retreat, I remembered one of the talks.  The person said Magis is more, not the most.  This gave me all I needed to understand.  Just like Philippine said, it is not how much we do or give, it is the seeking for more love, more grace, and more service in our lives that matters. This is Magis to me. 

Luke Beckett,'15, is a Kansas City native, pursuing a double major in communications and Spanish. Prior to this year, he was involved in Residence Life as an RA, a Spanish tutor in the Learning Center and as a committee member for Relay for Life. He is currently studying abroad in Heredia, Costa Rica.   

Magis has always been a word that I heard on a consistent basis living on a Jesuit campus. However, up until the last few months I never could have said that I truly thought I knew what it meant. Of course, there are numerous interpretations of Magis but I would venture to say that in my eyes it most represents how we can ‘better’ perform our roles in the body of Christ. Although there are many different roles we each play as the hands of feet of the church, by far the most important in my opinion is how we love and care for one another.  

I arrived to this conclusion over the last few months contemplating what happened to my family just before school started. To those who don’t know, my family suffered a house fire on August 17 of this year and virtually lost everything. I remember standing outside watching my childhood home in flames questioning how something so terrible could happen to anyone. Nevertheless, my God, as he so aptly does, managed to bring me closer to him through this situation.

That same morning of the fire I recall dozens of family, friends, and Rockhurst community members reaching out to my family to help us in our time of need. Although many of you may not realize this, the love and compassion that was outpoured on my family was a reflection of the body of Christ caring for one another and will forever be ingrained in my memory, reminding me to always look for the silver lining in every situation. 

Kyle Whiston, '17, of Kansas City (a northlander at heart) is majoring in non-profit leadership studies and theology and minoring in psychology. At Rockhurst he participates in Campus Ministry, CLC, an on-campus bible study and will go on the West Virginia service immersion trip this spring. He is also an intern for the First Hand Foundation, the non-profit of Cerner Corporation, a lay member for his church’s governing board and an off-campus tutor for students in nearby high schools.

I've always been a person who wants to do pretty much everything – at least once. When it gets down to the things I really enjoy, well let’s just say there aren’t enough fingers and toes on which to count them all. I often get into this mindset that by involving myself in as many activities as possible, I will be happier and able to make even more of a difference. Once I’m involved, I find it unlikely that this is the case, especially when I am cramming things into my schedule to make them all fit. Lately, I’ve been starting to really feel the effects of such a life and reflecting on magis has allowed me to reflect and really understand that it is about planting the smallest mustard seeds that provide the biggest plants that will continue the cycle eternally. So for myself, discovering the talents God have given me and embracing them in different ways is how I live out the magis and live for the magis.

Megan Jeffries, '17, is a native of Kansas City and a psychology major on the occupational therapy track.  She is presently a desk assistant, a member of the dance team and in the PT/OT Club.  Megan looks forward to getting more involved during her years at Rockhurst.

In my first few months at Rockhurst, through the principle of Magis, I have learned more about myself and have been challenged to live the life to which God calls me.  In the past, I attempted to do this by constantly busying myself and trying to do as much as possible.  However, I have now learned the difference between “doing more” and “being more.”  It is not necessary to do everything but, rather, to put everything that I can into the things that I do.  Whether it is my studies, the groups of which I am a part or my relationships with friends and family, all can benefit by my being fully present in the moment.  By being more present, it in turn becomes possible to be more aware of God’s presence as well.  When one recognizes Christ in the world around them, it becomes clearer how to live a life for the greater glory of God.

Sam Mueckl, '16, is from St. Louis, Mo., and is studying criminal justice and business management. He is a member of Student Senate, CLC, Ambassador and Pi Kappa Alpha.

I like to think of magis as putting the best or most effort into what I am doing at the present time. I think this is the most important thing for me – to not worry about the past or fear about the future but to focus on the present. The only thing I can control is what is happening in the moment.

By making an effort to make myself the best I can be is the only way I can achieve success. By putting more effort into what is actually going on in my life, I am better able to achieve my goals. Whether it is in the classroom, in organization, or in relationships with friends and family, by understanding that magis does not always mean more but a better quality is important to me. I don’t care how much effort I can put into something, if it does not make me feel like what I have done is a higher quality, I am not satisfied. In everything I do, I’d like to know that I have put quality over quantity every time. To me, the more quality, the better the outcome.

Stefani Paul, '15, is from Bainbridge Island, Washington. She is a senior here at Rockhurst University studying communication sciences and disorders. In addition to being a full-time student, she takes on the role of a desk manager for Corcoran, student ambassador, CLC leader, and a statistics tutor. Her hobbies include photography, swimming, and American Sign Language.

I am continuously awakened to the magis by the beauty that surrounds me.  Every day, I find a new inspiration to give more of myself and focus less on receiving.  In my mind, magis is a way of finding Christ within; it’s important to never lose site of the love he sacrificed when we ourselves make small sacrifices.  The “more” part of the definition of magis, in my experience, comes from the way one carries out one’s deeds.  If you are honestly happy to serve others and the Lord, than you know that you’re working through magis.

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect but rather a follower of Christ.  He has given us so much potential and every individual is blessed with some kind of gift.  As my mom always says, “It’s time that you go out there and use those gifts God gave you.”  Thus, rather than always thinking about what I can personally gain from my strengths, I do my best to put my strengths to use for the benefit of others.  If it’s a smile to brighten someone’s day, then I know that’s a start.  As I get older, I always imagine myself using my gifts of love for photography, compassion for others, and eagerness to learn in a way that may positively impact others’ lives.    Anytime that I lose patience, get frustrated or stress out, I think about how Jesus never gave up on us, how he constantly pushed himself to do more.  When I think of that, my mind is clear, and whatever I’m working on I continue doing with an open mind and loving heart.  

Christian Lamb,'14, is majoring in biochemistry and psychology and hopes to pursue an M.D. A native of Guthrie, Okla., he has previously been involved with Student Senate, Phi Delta Epsilon and Pre-Med Club and is currently in his third year as a resident assistant and is an active member of Alpha Delta Gamma.

 A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. – William Shakespeare

The name given to an object or idea does not change the inherent identity of that thing. Think about that for a second; an object or concept’s human-given name does not give it identity. As Shakespeare says, a rose is still a rose, no matter what humans have decided to call it.

“How does this apply to the Jesuit ideal of Magis?” you may ask. But the answer is simple: the name of your particular spiritual calling does not give it value; spirituality has, in-and-of itself, extreme inherent value. That is, two spiritually identically aims are both as sweet as the other no matter the name given to them.

To make this concept more tangible, we must realize that the Great Power exists outside of humanity’s understanding of said Force; God exists outside of human thought and language. The Universal Power transcends human understanding and, therefore cannot be limited by our language.

What does this mean for me? It means that I am able to see God in everything around me. There are MORE ways to understand God than religion; every meal I eat, my favorite songs, dancing, and even a simple hug are ways to interface with the Universe. I seek to understand her in as many ways as possible; I seek Magis.

Whether you call a rose a rose or you call it by another name, it still smells as sweet.

Mitch Findley, '17,  is double majoring in elementary education and Spanish. An Omaha native, he is involved in the APO service fraternity and plans to join many more student organizations as his Rockhurst career continues.

The “more” to which I feel called to pursue in life is simple: I want to teach. I have grown up my whole life as a kid thinking about how I never want to become a teacher, because I was always the kid getting in trouble. After I went on a high school service trip to the Dominican Republic, I realized that not only did I want to teach, but that I wanted to teach in some of the most poverty-stricken areas in whatever city I was living in. The Dominican Republic opened my eyes to how fortunate of a position I am currently in. The sheer poverty I saw every day there was astonishing. I have a loving family that is able to put meals on the table, and I have the opportunity to go off to college; so, I have realized that my mission has to be to give back. I have always loved working with little kids, and now I have recognized that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life, trying to change kids’ lives every day.

Erika Stuchlik, '16, is from Eagle, Neb., and is active in several organizations on campus, including Student Ambassadors, Christian Life Community (CLC), Gamma Phi Beta and Campus Ministry. Erika is majoring in psychology and plans to pursue a career in occupational therapy.

 I understand Magis as the better, not the best. God loves us all as his image. He loves me because I am me. I am not trying to be “the best” out of all his children, because heaven is not a first place trophy. I am bettering myself for Christ, at my pace, with realistic, achievable goals and expectations. Acts and goals rooted in Magis may become lost in others’ larger achievements. I can testify to the shame I have felt, when I believed I accomplished something spectacular, only to find someone else had gone over and above me. I shouldn’t let shame or discomfort flood my accomplishment, especially if I truly worked hard for it.  As long as He is my driving force, and my will to keep going, I do not fear.

Megan Nitchals, '15, hails from Leavenworth, Kan., and is majoring in nursing. Throughout her years at Rockhurst, Megan has been actively involved in Theta Phi Alphi, RAKERS and is in her second year of serving the Rockhurst community as a resident assistant.

 The past two years at Rockhurst have been a rollercoaster of blessings and memories. I remember being a frosh going through orientation, eager to learn and meet people and terrified of failing. Today, as I reflect, I realize how much I have grown and developed religiously, academically, socially, intellectually, and so much more, all because I allowed myself to risk failure.

My campus involvement has taught me a tremendous amount, but most importantly I have learned how much richer life can be if we live it pursing the Magis or “more”.  What I mean by this is living with a deeper purpose for every action, to strive for greater excellence and generosity for the greater good of humanity. As I begin my career in healthcare and see the needs of others, I realize that quality care is better than quantity. There are days when I see healthcare providers going through the motions and I think to myself, “SNAP out of it!! These patients rely on us in many more ways than one.” So I strive to make my co-workers, my peers, and myself more aware of the needs of others, encouraging greater excellence in what we do. I have Rockhurst’s Ignatian identity to thank for this. Without the emphasis on service for the greater good that I have learned from my time here, I would have never been summoned to live the Magis or “more” both now and in the future.

Seán Kane, '15, is from Kansas City, Mo. He is active in a number of on campus organizations, including choir and Campus Ministry, and is a French tutor at the Learning Center. Seán is majoring in history, philosophy and theology. He plans on earning master's and doctoral degrees in ancient history and continuing his film work.

 Over the years, I’ve had many people tell me that spending my time researching long-dead kings and princes, or making short films that probably won’t have any profit is a waste of time. “Why not do something important with your life?” they ask. For me it’s all about living life to the fullest. To do so is to live through the Magis. My reasoning simply is that I’d rather live my life doing what I love than what I would make a good deal of money out of. To be honest, basing an entire society’s view of worth on how much money a person can “collect” is absolute codswallop! Sure, it takes money to live a decent life anymore, after all I suppose I can’t pay the rent in a few years by entertaining my landlord and their family with stories like my predecessors could. But in the end, have we really lived our lives well enough to be welcomed into the garden after death, if all our focus has been centered on material wealth or on the values society dictates?

I don’t yet know what way my life will go after Rockhurst, for all I know I could end up making a pretty penny on those films after all. But when they do, it’ll be a rather nice occasion and a reason to go out for dessert. The trick with any good fortune, as played out in many a Greek myth and drama, is to be sure one lives a good life, a life worth remembering, a life that embodies the Magis and to be grateful for all the people that helped you on your way.

Caitlyn Tilden, '16, is from Lawrence, Kan., and is majoring in psychology and studying occupational therapy. She works in the library and has been involved in choir, CLC, Voices for Justice, the Rockstar Program and P.E.E.R.S. She serves on the board of the student publication "Infectus" and is a member of Theta Phi Alpha.

 What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What more can I do for Christ?*

When examining these three questions, I find that the last holds the most significance. I would love to stop at question number one and review the wonderful track record I have of glorifying Christ, but that defies the concept of Magis. Looking only at past accomplishments decreases my humility and motivation to continue living every single day for the glory of God. Although I can never work hard enough to mirror the grace God has extended to me, magis reminds me that the more I do for God the more fulfilled my own life will be become. Often by focusing on what more I can do for Christ, I realize that I can accomplish a lot by simply asking for a change of heart and new motivations. More is not exclusively quantity, but quality as well.  Although I realistically cannot and do not spend every minute in prayer or service, the time I do I can work to make more intentional, more authentic, and more glorifying.

We have all heard the expression that the more you give the more you receive, I find this especially true of our relationship with God.  The more we give to our relationship with Him, the more purpose God reveals to our lives. What more can you do for Christ today?

*These three questions are taken from St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises.

Cait Staed, '14, hails from St. Louis, Mo. During her tenure at Rockhurst, she has been a member of the dance team, active in Campus Ministry and spent a glorious semester studying abroad in Italy. Currently studying theology, Cait plans to pursue a master’s degree in occupation therapy next fall. 

 To be honest, I’ve always had a difficult time with Magis as a core value. This is because I never took the time to understand it. When I think of the word “more,” I automatically think of excess or greed. Fortunately, though, last semester I had a positive conversation about the idea of wanting more that changed my perspective on the core value of Magis.

A friend and I talked about how we never seem to be fully satisfied in our lives. We are constantly wanting more: wanting to travel more, wanting to meet more people, wanting to do more things. This helped me realize that wanting more does not always have to be a bad thing. Wanting more out of life pushes us to do great things with the time, talent and treasure God has given us on earth. I also realized that not only does God encourage me to strive to do more good things in my life, but He also calls me to want more of Him. He wants me to include Him in more of my daily activities, in more of my relationships, in more of my thoughts.

I hope that I never feel content, because that would meant that I stopped searching for more opportunities and a deeper relationship with God. Feeling content would mean that I have settled. God never wants us to settle. We are made to do great things; it’s just a matter of deciding to pursue those great things.

Magis’ has always been a word that I heard on a consistent basis living on a Jesuit campus. However, up until the last few months I never could have said that I truly thought I knew what it meant. Of course, there are numerous interpretations of Magis but I would venture to say that in my eyes it most represents how we can ‘better’ perform our roles in the body of Christ. Although there are many different roles we each play as the hands of feet of the church, by far the most important in my opinion is how we love and care for one another.  


I arrived to this conclusion over the last few months contemplating what happened to my family just before school started. To those who don’t know, my family suffered a house fire on August 17th of this year and virtually lost everything. I remember standing outside watching my childhood home in flames questioning how something so terrible could happen to anyone. Nevertheless, my God, as he so aptly does, managed to bring me closer to him through this situation.


That same morning of the fire I recall dozens of family, friends, and Rockhurst community members reaching out to my family to help us in our time of need. Although many of you may not realize this, the love and compassion that was outpoured on my family was a reflection of the body of Christ caring for one another and will forever be ingrained in my memory, reminding me to always look for the silver lining in every situation.