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ACU graduates honored for high achievements at May Commencement

By Lynne Bruton - director of public relations Abilene Christian University



Abilene Christian University honored some of the best and brightest of its students at May Commencement last Saturday, presenting special awards to 13 undergraduates and two graduate students. {{more}} The V.W. and Loretta Kelley Scholarship Award, awarded annually to graduating seniors for graduate study, was presented to Charrelle Coates, biochemistry major from Clarksville, Tenn., and Jeremy Tatum, social work major from Garland, Texas. Recipients of the scholarship are nominated by faculty and then selected by the Alumni Advisory Board based on outstanding service to fellow students and the university, high moral character and distinguished work in his or her academic discipline. The Trustees Award, given each year to students for the honor and recognition they have brought ACU through their achievements, character and devotion to the university, was presented to Adeniyi Michael Adebesin, biochemistry major from Lagos, Nigeria, Jenavene Hester, theatre major from Abilene, Daniel Jumper, physics major from Richardson, Texas, and Madison Saniuk, political science and Spanish major from Arlington, Texas. Spencer Hemphill, accounting major from Longview, Texas and Haley Dilling, marketing major from Vero Beach, Fla. were named Honor Man and Honor Woman, a distinction given to students with exemplary character, outstanding academic achievement and ideal behavior. For their demonstration of character, outstanding academic achievement and determined perseverance in overcoming obstacles to obtain their education, Markus Drehsel, youth and family ministry major from Heidelberg, Germany, Serge Gasore, psychology major from Kigali, Rwanda, and Melissa Gazi, biology major from Harari, Zimbabwe were presented with the Dean Adams Achievement Award. The B Sherrod Scholarship, given to students who contribute greatly to the university overall while maintaining academic standards, was presented to Daniel Johnson-Kim, a journalism major from Abilene, and Charrelle Coates. Two graduate-level students were presented the Outstanding Thesis Award for their master’s theses. Dana Hooker, who received her master’s in communication, was honored for her thesis entitled “Children in Transition: Formation of the Children’s Intercultural Readiness Assessment.” James Walters, who received his master of divinity and master of arts degrees in New Testament, wrote “The Philoxenian Gospels as Reconstructed from the Exegetical Writings of Philoxenus of Mabbug.” Awards were presented by Dr. Royce Money, ACU president, and Dr. Dwayne Van Rheenen, ACU provost, at the Commencement in Moody Coliseum on May 9.

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