Outstanding Students Recognized at 2015 Awards Convocation

May 6, 2015

Nelson, a cross-cultural ministry major and biblical languages minor from Kearney, Nebraska, was the fifth recipient of the University's highest award given to a male student, the W.P. Blake Award. Nelson will graduate with the scholastic predicate magna cum laude. The award was presented by OBU President David W. Whitlock.

The W.P. Blake Award is named for the chairman of OBU's first board of trustees. Blake was an Oklahoma Baptist pioneer from Okmulgee. The award was established in 2011 to recognize an outstanding man in the graduating class who embodies Blake's written desire that OBU "perpetuate the heritage of Christian citizenship." The selection is made by a committee named by the University president. It recognizes the man of the graduating class who most nearly exemplifies the qualities which characterize the ideal OBU man, including personal character, scholarship, leadership, concern for others and Christian commitment.

Criner, a marketing major from Haskell, Oklahoma, received the University's highest award given to a female student, the Rosalee Mills Appleby Award. Criner will graduate with the scholastic predicate cum laude. The award was presented by Whitlock.

The Rosalee Mills Appleby Award is named for the donor, a member of the class of 1929 who served as a missionary, writer and teacher in Brazil for many years. The award was established in 1936 as OBU's first award and has been given annually since that time. The selection is made by a committee named by the University president. It recognizes the woman of the graduating class who most nearly exemplifies the qualities which characterize the ideal OBU woman, including personal character, scholarship, leadership, concern for others and Christian commitment.

Students graduate with the scholastic predicate summa cum laude for maintaining at least a 3.95 grade-point average. Students who maintained at least at 3.70 GPA are designated magna cum laude. Students who maintained at least a 3.40 GPA are designated cum laude.

Christopher Sanford, a junior from Wichita, Kansas, received the Evans T. Moseley Leadership Award. The award was established by the senior class of OBU in 1966 to honor the man who served as interim president of the University during that year. It is given to a rising senior who demonstrates the greatest leadership potential.

Molly Munger, a junior from Harrah, Oklahoma, received the John Wesley Raley Scholarship. The John Wesley Raley Scholar receives a scholarship from funds provided by the Fay Taylor Pierson Trust, part of which was designated to establish a memorial to Dr. John Wesley Raley, who served as University president from 1934 to 1961 and as University chancellor from 1961 to 1965. The Scholarship is awarded annually to a rising senior with a grade-point average of at least 3.00 who plans to continue at OBU. Additional criteria which guide the selection committee's nomination to the University president include leadership, moral courage, self-determination and communicative skills.

The seniors will participate in Spring Commencement Friday, May 15, in Raley Chapel's Potter Auditorium.