Saint Martin's student honored for outstanding achievement

Tuesday, July 2, 2002

Lacey, Wash. - Aaron A. Goings, co-valedictorian of the Saint Martin’s College class of 2002, is the recipient of the College’s new Father Jerome Toner, O.S.B., Award.

The award, honoring outstanding achievement in student activism, bears the name of a monk of Saint Martin’s Abbey who was an internationally recognized labor scholar and activist. Known as “the labor priest of Saint Martin’s,” Father Jerome authored a groundbreaking study, “The Closed Shop in the American Labor Movement,” and was a grassroots labor organizer among the downtrodden in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was named by President Harry Truman as a delegate to the International Labor Organization conference and shared his insights and concerns about labor issues with both U.S. and Vatican officials. Washington Gov. Albert Rosellini later appointed him to the state’s Human Rights Commission, which he chaired. Although Father Jerome’s work angered many people in power, he persisted in fighting for the dignity and rights of workers throughout his life.

Goings won the award for his outstanding contributions to the theory and practice of social justice and labor issues.

”Aaron’s work as an intern with the Washington State Senate and the AFL-CIO, and his scholarly work using primary historical documents to examine issues of free speech and labor history, carries on in Father Jerome’s proud tradition of feather-ruffling,” said political science department Chair Roger Snider, Ph.D.

Goings is the son of Christine and Michael Goings of Aberdeen. He transferred from Grays Harbor College to Saint Martin’s, where he earned a perfect 4.0 during his academic career. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and plans to attend The Evergreen State College, where he will continue his research before beginning graduate school.

For more information:
July 2, 2002 Roger Snider
Associate professor, political science
360-438-4346 or

Holly Harmon
Director of communication
360-438-4332 or