LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has awarded 13 students with honors that recognize community engagement, leadership and academics.
Issued by the Board of Class Officers, the Campanile Award is given to a single graduating senior who has displayed remarkable leadership, character and respect for KU.
This year’s Campanile Award went to Laura Phillips, a senior from Perry majoring in classical languages and in ecology, evolution & organismal biology.
“My time at KU has fundamentally changed the way that I see the world and myself and helped me find my purpose in sustainability and science,” Phillips said. “As I prepare to finish my time as an undergraduate student, my focus is on passing on my service work to future Jayhawks who will continue to better our campus.
“While my love for this school will make it hard for me to move on, I am leaving with a sense of pride in what I accomplished and with the knowledge that KU prepared me for what is to come.”
The University Awards, among the most prestigious awards presented at KU, were established to recognize students who embody service excellence, dedication or whose academic achievements are stellar.
Class of 1913 Awards
These annual awards go to two graduating students who show evidence of intelligence, devotion to studies, personal character and promise of usefulness to society.
Aroog Khaliq is a senior from Overland Park majoring in English and psychology.
“The value of intelligence and education rests in how we utilize these assets to improve our communities and work towards a better world,” Khaliq said.
“I am immensely thankful for all the opportunities KU provided for me to put this into action, and this award is an honor I share equally with my professors and mentors, who nurtured my interests and encouraged me to think beyond the classroom.
''I will carry their lessons and this dedication to doing good with me into medical school and beyond.”
Angelica Lang is a senior from Manhattan majoring in molecular, cellular & developmental biology.
"I am so grateful for my family, friends and mentors who have supported me the past four years,” Lang said.
“I have developed so much as a student, researcher, leader and person during my time here at KU.
"As I prepare to go on to graduate school next year, I feel blessed for all the opportunities I have had here, and I look forward to seeing what the future will hold.”
The Donald K. Alderson Memorial Award
The award goes to a graduating senior who has demonstrated loyalty to and interest in the university and who has been active in events and services that benefit other students. This award was established in memory of Alderson, former dean of men and dean of student services.
Cody Murray is a senior from Hutchinson majoring in fine arts.
"I hope that from everything I have done in four years, that I have made better circumstances for the organizations, events and positions I have held to continue on for future Jayhawks,” Murray said.
“They were my homes away from home that I hope will grow a new future leader in a student. Thank you to all of those who have supported me.”
The Alexis F. Dillard Student Involvement Award
This award goes to two graduating students who have unselfishly contributed to the university through campus involvement. It was established in 1993 by Dillard’s family and friends to remember and honor him.
Jaya Chakka is a senior from Owasso, Oklahoma, majoring in behavioral neuroscience and in molecular, cellular & developmental biology.
"While I have thoroughly enjoyed my courses at KU, many of my favorite and most formative experiences have occurred outside the classroom,” Chakka said.
“My time at KU has further affirmed that being part of a community is an active undertaking. When you find a group of people you can really connect with, you do anything you can to nourish that connection. Giving back to your community, learning from your peers and growing together is what the college experience is all about."
Adrian Romero is a senior from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, majoring in chemical engineering.
"Student involvement has immensely impacted my personal and professional growth,” Romero said. “Through student organizations and undergraduate research, I have been able to develop technical and leadership skills that will allow me to catapult my career.
“Four years ago, I came to Lawrence with a suitcase and an opportunity. In May, I'm walking down the Hill with a degree, a passion for environmental engineering, a thousand doors open and the Jayhawk family behind me.
"I'm forever grateful for my peers and mentors who guided me to become the young professional and confident leader I am today."
The Rusty Leffel Concerned Student Awards
This award annually goes to students who demonstrate a concern for furthering the ideals of the university and higher education. The award was established by a group of seniors in 1973 to honor their fellow student, Leffel.
Hanah Glimpse is a senior from Phoenix, Arizona, majoring in theatre design.
“When opportunity is in front of you, you take it,” Glimpse said. “Even if it’s a small thing, or you might have to decline it, respond to it and acknowledge it.
"That’s how I was able to achieve and do so much for the university and myself — by taking every chance I could.”
Faith Maddox is a senior from Topeka majoring in English.
“My work at SAPEC (KU’s Sexual Assault Prevention & Education Center) has been an immensely meaningful experience, allowing me an avenue to connect with the broader community around issues of sexual violence,” Maddox said.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to explore my own role in challenging social norms and contributing to change.
"None of my goals or efforts would have come to fruition without the encouragement of the SAPEC staff, nor without the unwavering support and exemplary strength of my mom.”
Jordan Young is a senior from Kansas City, Kansas, majoring in communication studies.
“Coming to the University of Kansas, I promised myself I was going to make a positive impact on this university, as well as the student community,” Young said.
“The day people are born and the day people pass isn’t what makes a person memorable. What a person does during their life is what people remember.
“I hope the things I’ve accomplished at KU live on for those who come after me and I am remembered as a person who chased the change he wanted to see on the campus until his ideas became a reality and I inspire others to do the same.”
The Caryl K. Smith Student Leader Award
This award goes to a graduating fraternity or sorority member who has demonstrated commitment to the local chapter, the KU greek community, the university and the Lawrence community. It was established in 1993 to honor Smith, a former dean of student life.
Amanda Nguyen is a senior from Overland Park majoring in biochemistry.
“My time at KU has instilled a passion toward community health and advocacy, largely cultivated by the time I spent in my student organizations, that I have no doubt I will carry with me to my future,” Nguyen said.
“These experiences, alongside my education, have guided me toward a lifelong passion that I hope other Jayhawks, now and in the future, can discover at KU.
“Most of all, I feel so incredibly grateful for the relationships I’ve formed, and my family, friends and mentors that have always unconditionally supported me and pushed me to grow into the leader I am today.”
The Kathryn Nemeth Tuttle Student Scholar Award
This award is presented to a graduating senior scholarship hall student. Recipients have demonstrated academic focus, leadership in the scholarship hall and also commitment to the KU and Lawrence communities.
Tristan Myers is a senior from Topeka majoring in chemical engineering.
"I want to thank my friends and family so much for their unwavering support even in the face of this global pandemic,” Myers said.
“The most important lesson I've taken from this situation is to always be grateful for your blessings and privileges — including excellent higher education — and to use them to support the less fortunate. I hope every Jayhawk shares this view."
The Agnes Wright Strickland Awards
These awards were established in 1953 in memory of Strickland, a member of the Class of 1887. They go annually to graduating seniors in recognition of their academic records, demonstrated leadership in matters of university concern, respect among fellow students and indications of future dedication to service in the university.
Mary Bisbee is a senior from Rosalia majoring in anthropology.
"My time at the university has been transformed by the campus community and each individual I was able to meet and work with,” Bisbee said.
“I learned firsthand that community engagement is so essential for both personal development and social change.
"I'm very grateful that KU offered me the chance to grow within this community and cultivate my passion for community work."
Alex Pang is a senior from Topeka majoring in sociology.
"My time at KU has been filled with many opportunities that I hold dear to my heart,” Pang said. “From being an orientation assistant and working alongside passionate staff in the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Multicultural Scholars Program, these have prepared me for my next chapter in life where I plan to promote diversity and equity in higher education at the graduate level.
"I hope to return and make an even larger impact in the future."