Pursuit of Purpose: Merchandise Management Student will Share her Story at 2024 Commencement

Drusilla FaikelFor Drusilla Faikel, the journey across the academic finish line has been non-linear. The twists and turns ultimately led her to Mount Mary – and to her professional calling. In her speech at the spring commencement ceremony, the 2024 student speaker will reflect on her path to finding purpose. The event will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 18 in the Bloechl Center.

Faikel began her college studies in Human Biology at UW Green Bay. Although she was a high achieving student, she struggled to connect with her chosen major. A chance conversation with a coworker introduced Faikel to Mount Mary. She visited for a campus tour and fell in love instantly. The rest, she says, is history.

"An all-women’s university was a place where I could be myself and take risks. I've felt emotionally and intellectually safe here," she said. "It was this supportive community of people that made me feel comfortable from the start."

Faikel entered Mount Mary as a transfer student, considering several majors. But it was the Merchandise Management program that truly sparked a sense of connection. She credits the faculty in the Fashion program with helping her realize that creative self-expression can take many forms.

"I'm not really an 'artsy' person; I can't draw,” she shared. "But I'm a maker in a different sense. Some people make dresses; I develop concepts and create environments."

Faikel helped manage models with the 2024 CREO Student Fashion show production team. She also completed a production coordination internship with Kohl's corporate, helping her build confidence and expand her professional skills. After graduating this May, she will continue with the company as a full-time employee.

Faikel hopes that her non-traditional student journey will inspire others who may be searching for their professional purpose. She encourages students to use their college years for exploration.

"Mount Mary encouraged me to take risks, and that was so valuable," she shared. "Be open-minded. Don't limit yourself. You can make your education–and your life–whatever you want it to be."

For a full schedule of graduation activities, including the hooding ceremony for graduate students and the pre-commencement Light of Learning celebration, visit mtmary.edu/commencement.

View the 2024 commencement livestream