Hanaa Alhosawi Crowned 2019 St. Lucia

The 79th annual Festival of St. Lucia took place at Gustavus on Thursday, Dec. 12.
Posted on December 12th, 2019 by

Hanaa Alhosawi was crowned St. Lucia.

Gustavus Adolphus College sophomore Hanaa Alhosawi was crowned St. Lucia at the College’s 79th annual Festival of St. Lucia Celebration on Thursday, December 12. After being nominated along with five other sophomore women based on service to others, strength of character, courageous leadership, and compassion, Alhosawi was selected as the 2019 honoree after a campus-wide vote.

Hanaa Alhosawi '22

Hanaa Alhosawi ’22

“At Gustavus, I am thankful for all the beautiful people I’ve gotten to know so far, and all the knowledge, support, and growth that I have gained the past couple years,” Alhosawi said.

Born in Saudi Arabia, Alhosawi is majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology at Gustavus. On campus, she works as a peer assistant in the GustieWell Office, is co-president of the Muslim Student Association, and serves as a chemistry tutor. She also serves as an international peer student and was a key driver in the creation of Saturday Talks, an informal social and academic support group for international students. Alhosawi recently co-authored a journal article, “CaMad2 Promotes Multiple Aspects of Genome Stability Beyond Its Direct Function in Chromosome Segregation,” in Genes along with Gustavus biology professor Laura Burrack and fellow Gusties Maicy Vossen ’21 and Katie Aney ’18.

The day of celebration at Gustavus includes the St. Lucia court members singing carols throughout the College’s residence halls, breakfast with members of the Guild of St. Lucia, the annual chapel service in Christ Chapel, and a traditional Scandinavian smorgasbord luncheon sponsored by the Friends of the Library-Gustavus Library Associates. This year’s luncheon is highlighted by author Ellie Roscher ’02. Ellie writes, teaches and speaks about gender, faith, bodies, justice, parenthood and simplicity. She is the author of Play Like a Girl, How Coffee Saved my Life and the forthcoming 12 Tiny Things.

Abigayle Paulson, Hanaa Alhosawi, Melanie Kistnasamy, Nora Hagestuen, Lily Engebretson, and Kendra Held.

The College’s celebration of the Swedish tradition began in 1941 and commemorates the courage shown by the legendary St. Lucia, who is known for her faith and service to others. In homes throughout Sweden, the eldest daughter plays the role of St. Lucia by preparing and serving baked goods and coffee to her family at sunrise. Lucia is a day celebrating community, light, and the end to long winter nights as a symbol of hope and peace for the holiday season.

This year’s court consists of Kendra Held (Eagan, Minn.), Nora Hagestuen (Plymouth, Minn.), Lily Engebretson (St. Paul, Minn.), Abigayle Paulson (Saint Croix Falls, Wis.), Hanaa Alhosawi (Saudi Arabia via Seattle, Wash.), and Melanie Kistnasamy (Mauritius).


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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