Max Vincent Bidasha

Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Organizational Studies


Graduating With Honors
Outstanding Student Award

Award Bio

"One of the greatest decisions I ever made was going back to school. Saint Mary’s is a place very dear to my heart. My cohort was like a small family. We opened each other’s minds and challenged each other daily. Reflecting on my experience, I don’t think I ever found myself in such a strong and empathetic support system as I did with my group. When I was diagnosed with a very rare cancer halfway through my program, I was told I had one year to live. My world changed in so many ways, except for the love and support I found with my cohort and professors at Saint Mary's. I remember one classmate looking me in the eye and saying, "Max, you ARE going to graduate and walk with us." I'll never forget that moment. While I was undergoing the strongest chemotherapy on the market, having my hand amputated, and dealing with "chemo brain," my cohort never wavered in their stance to help a fellow classmate out. I share this award with them because I know that I could not have accomplished everything I did without them. As for me now, the doctors say there is no evidence of the metastatic disease in my body. I have found my true calling in life as a playwright, and I start my MFA playwriting program at Hollins University in June. I plan to do all of the things I was told I may never get to do. This journey has taught me the true meaning of life. Thank you so much for this honor. Much love and many blessings." —Max Bidasha