BVU holds 2017 Student Recognition Dinner


Megan Snyder, News Editor

Buena Vista University (BVU) held its annual Student Recognition Dinner on Saturday, April 29th. Students were recognized for their excellence in academics and leadership on campus.

The dinner opened with a welcome from President Fred Moore. Before students were recognized for their achievements, Dr. Thom Bonagura, Associate Professor of Biology at BVU, spoke about passion and the importance of pursuing it.

“Greatness only comes from embracing our passion and suffering for it.” Bonagura stated.

Jim Salvucci, Vice President for Academic Affairs, recognized students for their academic excellence, and Dale Scully, Vice President for Student Affairs, named students who were recognized for their leadership involvement on campus.

The 2017 Student Marshalls, an award that is given to a Junior who is in the top of their class, were Jacob Braddock to represent Storm Lake and Rachel DeCook to represent the Online, Site and Graduate Programs. Student Marshalls assist the faculty marshal during commencement and Founder’s Day.

The Fine Arts Award was awarded to Senior Rebecca Armitage for her work within the Art Department. One of her artworks will be bought and added to the BVU art collection.

Sophomore Kayla Sweet was awarde the Mac Hornecker Artistic Enrichment Grant. The grant allows students the opportunity to pursue an artistic experience or project.

Three people were awarded the Marjorie Holmes Award; Sophomore Tanner Jensen, Freshman Olivia Wiesler, and Junior Ranelle Irwin. The endowed literary award recognizes students who submit a folder of analytical or creative work to the BVU English Department for consideration.

Freshman Ella Wiebusch was awarded the Vivian and Paul McCorkle Freshman and Leadership Potential Award. The award recognizes an outstanding leader within the Freshman class.

Junior Kyle Wiebers was awarded the Wesselink Award for his involvement and contributions to campus life. Gumwil Riak was awarded the Stief Award and recognized for his positive impact within the residence halls.

Sophomore Amanda Miley was awarded the Neil Ball Service Award. Junior Mariah Trettin was awarded the Meinhard Endowed Service Award. Both awards recognize students for their volunteer work within the community.

Valeria Cota, a Sophomore, was awarded the Cumberland Student Development Award. The award allows students the ability to have new and unique off-campus experiences.

Ranelle Irwin was also awarded the William H. Cumberland Research Award. The award recognizes the student with the best research paper of the year.

Taylor Loy, a Junior, was awarded the Harry Blackmun Award for her contributions and achievements within the pre-law program.

Lan Huong Brown was awarded the Wendy Waugaman Women and Leadership Award. The award provides female students opportunities to advance their leadership abilities.

Jacqueline Daggs and Michael Olson, parents of Senior Jaelyn Olson, were named Parents of the Year. Olson submitted an essay outlining her parents’ qualities and outstanding character.

Seniors Luke Hastie and Elizabeth Kim were named Leaders of the Year. The award honors students who have been major leaders on campus.

Sophomore Emily Kim was awarded the J. Leslie Rollins Fellowship, which provides aid for students to complete an off-campus leadership experience.

Sarah Schlichte was named the 2017 Senior of the Year. When asked about how she felt when she was announced the winner, she said:

“I was completely astonished when I was selected for the Senior of the Year. Every single finalist deserved that award, so upon the announcement of my name, I was shocked.”

Schlichte continued, “Receiving this accomplishment means a lot to me. Knowing that student, faculty, and alumni contributed to the final result shows me that my dedication and passion for BVU is evident. BVU means a lot to me as it has taught me so much of the last four years and inspired me to do more than I ever thought I would. I am elated to represent BVU as this year’s Senior of the Year and deeply grateful for the honor.”