News Post

Gracyn Freiling

Seniors at Geneva write and defend a thesis as the last step toward graduation. The senior thesis is a dissertation in which the student advances an original point of view, typically on a controversial topic. Seniors begin the academic year by selecting a topic with help from their faculty adviser. Topics are then researched and a final draft is submitted before the student prepares for the oral presentation. 

The first part of the thesis presentation is an eloquent 20-minute speech delivered from memory. The speech is delivered before three panelists, schoolmates, parents, faculty members and guests. Upon completion of the oral presentation, the invited panelists, conversant in the thesis topic, question the student on points that have been raised. The student demonstrates competency in fielding the questions by “thinking on his feet.”

Gracyn Freiling, daughter of Tammy and Russ Freiling of San Antonio, was recognized as the 2020 winner of the G.K. Chesterton Award for the best overall senior thesis presentation. Other G.K. Chesterton Finalists were Jake Allen, ​Will Bower, ​Jack Cupit, Anson Eggerss, Catarina Flores, Jayne Goodman, David Grote, Braden Hall, Gillian Loflin, Corley Petrie and Charlotte Walker.

This year, the senior thesis presentations were conducted virtually. The 58 seniors in the Class of 2020 presented and defended their these as either recorded videos from home or via a presentation live-streamed.