Sarah Fortier and Lawrence Jensen have been named the recipients of this year’s Pour Le Merite Award at College of St. Joseph. They will be recognized for their outstanding care, support and leadership in the community at the annual Founders’ Day Celebration on Wednesday, March 29 at 2 p.m.
Founders’ Day commemorates the Sisters of St. Joseph, who had the vision and perseverance to establish a Catholic college in Rutland in 1956. The Pour Le Merite Award honors outstanding individuals from the community who exhibit substantial engagement in volunteer activities that have contributed to the betterment of the region.
Fortier was named principal of MSJ in 2014, bringing a wealth of experience having previously served as dean of students and as a history instructor for more than a decade prior. Since her appointment, she has worked tirelessly to successfully grow enrollment at the local high school.
In addition to being an ardent champion of Catholic education in Rutland, Fortier is also an active member of the Rutland community, serving as advisor for Project Help, a Christmas project at MSJ, which provides dinner and presents for 100 local families in need. She has also participated in several walks and runs, including the Walk for Alzheimer’s, the Walk to Prevent Child Abuse, and others in honor of her son, Jack.
Fortier is a graduate of MSJ. She holds a Master’s of Education from College of St. Joseph and a Bachelor’s Degree from Quinnipiac University.
The College will also honor interim president Lawrence Jensen at this year’s event.
Jensen has dedicated years to College of St. Joseph as both a member and chair of the Board of Trustees before becoming interim president in 2016.
A retired healthcare executive and well-known community leader, Jensen has chaired and served on several boards in the Rutland region, including the James Bowse Health Trust and the Rutland City Police Commission, Vermont Public Radio, Killington Music Festival, Rutland Mental Health and Rutland Regional Medical Center.
During his career, he served as vice president for corporate development and Rutland Health Foundation major gifts officer at RRMC. He was also vice president and controller for Killington Resort.
Jensen holds an MBA from University of Vermont, and a Bachelor’s degree from The State University of New York at Geneseo.
The College also honors one student – who goes above and beyond in both the college and Rutland community – to be honored with the Mother Teresa Student Service Award. This year’s honoree is David Wallant, a junior from East Bridgewater, Mass.
The event begins at 2 p.m. in Tuttle Theater, located on the CSJ campus at 71 Clement Road in Rutland. The celebration is open to the public.