Annie Feifar presented with Loyola Academy’s top award
Annie Feifar (fourth from the left) rowed for the Loyola Varsity 8 that placed 10th in May at the national meet in Camden, N.J. | Photo submitted by Annie Feifar
Updated: August 27, 2012 10:34AM
INVERNESS — Four years ago, Annie Feifar arrived at Loyola not knowing anyone other than her older brother.
Outgoing and adventurous, Feifar wanted to engage with her new community. She considered crew, something she never tried before, to be a good place to start.
Four years later, Feifar received the highest honor a Loyola senior can attain, in part because of what she accomplished on the water.
She was honored as the graduating senior who best epitomizes RIPLOC: the six characteristics — religious, intellectually competent, physically fit, loving, open to growth and committed to doing justice — to which all Loyola students aspire.
Charlie Dowdle was the boys’ award winner.
For someone who once was an unknown, Feifar stamped herself as someone hard to forget.
“It came out of nowhere,” she said. “I was so shocked, but I was so honored.”
Feifar’s father Thomas graduated from Loyola in 1975 and her brother Thomas Jr., finished in 2010. A younger brother, Brian, is the last Feifar at Loyola.
“I am happy I went to school far away,” said Annie Feifar, an Inverness resident. “It was an awesome chance to start fresh and become who I wanted to be. I could give as much as I could at school, and then I could keep to myself at home. I got involved with so much and met so many great people.
“Going to Loyola was the highlight of my life up to this point. I learned so much there.”
Feifar rowed all four years at Loyola and completed her career by competing at the national meet in Camden, N.J., where the Ramblers’ Varsity 8 took 10th in the country.
“Crew wasn’t all about success for me,” she said. “It was more about character-building and reaching my full potential, to be as good as I could be. It also introduced me to a bunch of new people, a lot of them my best friends now. It was undoubtedly one of the best decisions I made, even though it was so hard.”
A National Honor Society member, Feifar also was active in Loyola’s ministry program and volunteered on projects outside of school.
“When I got to Loyola, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but my brother already was involved in the ministry,” she said. “He showed me the way, and I followed in his footsteps in that regard.
“I participated in masses, retreats. It was a welcoming community. Everyone there loves the ministry.”
At some point during her senior year, Feifar considered continuing her crew career at Boston College. But she wasn’t sure if she was up to the commitment for another four years.
Instead, Feifar is attending Marquette, where she will start a new chapter of her life and search out something fresh.
“Why not try another thing?” she wondered aloud. “Once I get there, I will figure out what I want to do there. I will see what things interest me there.”