OBU recognized outstanding students during its annual awards chapel Wednesday, May 8. The ceremony took place in Raley Chapel’s Potter Auditorium, with seniors Chandler Warren and Libby Unruh receiving the highest awards given. The University also recognized outstanding seniors in each of its six undergraduate colleges, as well as outstanding senior athletes.
OBU Interim President Pat Taylor presented the W.P. Blake Award to Chandler Warren. The award is the University’s highest award given to a male student.
The W.P. Blake Award is named for the chairman of OBU’s first board of trustees, who 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.” A committee named by the University president makes the selection. The committee chooses 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.
Taylor presented the Rosalee Mills Appleby Award to Libby Unruh. The award is the University’s highest award given to a female student.
The Rosalee Mills Appleby Award is named for the donor, a member of the class of 1920 who served for many years as a missionary, writer and teacher in Brazil. This award was established in 1936 as OBU’s first award and has been given annually since that time. A committee named by the University president makes the selection. The committee chooses 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.
Hayden Ashley received the Evans T. Moseley Leadership Award, presented by Dale Griffin, assistant vice president for spiritual life, dean of the chapel, and interim dean of students. 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.
Emily Wall received the John Wesley Raley Scholarship, also presented by Griffin. 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 3.0 who plans to continue at OBU. Additional criteria include leadership, moral courage, self-determination and communicative skills.
Dr. Pam Robinson, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, presented awards to the outstanding seniors within each division of the college. The awards are selected based on scholarship, leadership, work ethic, campus involvement and community involvement. The outstanding seniors included Tristan Ward, Division of Language and Literature; Stephanie Tucker, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences; Carolyn Sosinski, Division of Health and Human Performance; and Emily Sechrist, Division of Teacher Education.
Dr. Chris Jones, dean of the James E. Hurley College of Science and Mathematics, presented the awards for the outstanding seniors in the college. The awards are given to the students graduating during the calendar year who, in the opinion of the science and math faculty, have demonstrated the most exceptional ability, work ethic, enthusiasm and potential in the fields of science and mathematics. The outstanding senior in science was awarded to Madison Granger and the outstanding senior in mathematics was awarded to Kelsi Guleserian.
Dr. David Houghton, dean of the Paul Dickinson College of Business, presented the awards for outstanding business graduates in the college to Libby Unruh and Jonathan Stewart. The award is given to the outstanding graduating seniors in the College of Business. In selecting the recipients, the faculty considers excellence in scholarship and potential for significant achievement.
Dr. Heath Thomas, dean of the Herschel H. Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry, presented the awards for the outstanding seniors in the college. The outstanding senior in biblical and theological studies was awarded to Jonathan Knox. This award is presented to the student who has demonstrated exceptional ability in the fields of theology, Christian history and biblical studies. The outstanding senior in Christian and cross-cultural ministry, presented to the student who has demonstrated exceptional ability in the field of applied ministry, was awarded to Sarah Lee. The outstanding senior in philosophy, presented to the student who has demonstrated exceptional ability in the field of philosophy, was awarded to Noah Jones.
Dr. Chris Mathews, dean of the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts, presented the awards for the outstanding seniors in the college. Caleb Cole was awarded outstanding senior in art and design, for exhibiting not only a talent in art but an initiative in the development of that talent and maintaining a responsible awareness of his or her talent through overall good scholarship. Payton Clark was awarded outstanding senior in communication arts for exhibiting scholastic excellence, leadership, moral ideals, breadth of involvement, and promise of success in the field of communication. The outstanding senior in music was awarded to Olivia Jones for excelling as a performer, consistently exhibiting the highest standards of scholarship, and best representing the ideals of the University.
Dr. Robbie Henson, associate dean of nursing, presented the outstanding senior in nursing award to Juliana Sinclair. This award is presented to the outstanding senior nursing student who demonstrates competence in the knowledge and skills required for beginning practice as a professional nurse, incorporates caring behaviors in interactions with clients and colleagues, affirms a commitment to the ethical values of the Judeo-Christian beliefs, demonstrates a commitment to continuing personal and professional development grounded in a liberal arts philosophy, and assumes moral and legal responsibility for his or her own professional nursing practice.
Robert Davenport, director of athletics, presented the awards for outstanding senior male athlete to Cagney Roberson and for outstanding female athlete to McKae Mitchell.
Dr. Carol Humphrey, professor of history, presented the Presidential Scholar/Athlete Awards. This award is given each year to the senior male and female athletes with the highest cumulative GPA. Emily Sechrist received the top female honor and Jonathan Stewart took home the outstanding male award.
Dr. Susan DeWoody, vice president for academic affairs, announced the junior marshals for Spring Commencement. They include Alexis Besch, Cherie Brewer, Gage Bullard, Madalyn Cook, Aubrey Cotham, Dannie Deason, Julianne Ford, Caleb Gray, Matthew Hampton, Audrey Harlow, Jaden Jennings, Kendra Johnson, Jessica King, Joshua Knox, Tyler Koonce, Emma Lang, Carly Miller, Christin Muller, Alexandra O’Steen, Ivy Penwell, Kylie Pope, Hannah Shumaker, Jonathan Soder, Chloe Stokes, Ariel Thomas and Jonathan Wood.
OBU also recognized retiring staff, including Nancy Deichman, secretary for the College of Business; Nola Dobyns, secretary to development; Dr. Roger Flint, professor of accounting; Lisa Hair, groundskeeper II; David Price, microcomputer technician II; Debra Stephens, student financial services counselor; Ruth Suddock, facilities management assistant; Dr. David Whitlock, president of OBU and chancellor.