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MBU’s Outstanding Students Honored at Awards Ceremony

Who’s Who, Outstanding Scholars, Junior Marshals and the Campus Service Award were among the honors given out to students as family members proudly watched.

Photo by: Brianna Hampton, MBU alumna

Photo by: Bryanna Hampton, MBU alumna

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By: JULIANNE COMBS

More than 350 people including family, friends and faculty were in attendance to witness the 29th Annual Outstanding Students of Achievement Ceremony Tuesday, April 1, in the Pillsbury Chapel at Missouri Baptist University.

“This ceremony is to honor outstanding students, the top performers,” said Janet Mayfield, administrative assistant to the provost. “These awards are not just based on grades but the involvement of students.”

Among the awards given were Junior Marshals, Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, Outstanding Scholars, division awards and the Campus Service Award.

Though all the awards are praiseworthy, the top award of the evening is the Campus Service Award.

“The faculty gets a list of graduating seniors then nominate and vote on a student,” said Mayfield, describing what goes into choosing a recipient for the award. “It often comes down to a tie between two students. Then the faculty must vote again.”

The student the faculty ultimately chooses is one who achieves high academically, is active in the community and enthusiastically pursues Christ.

The 2014 winner of the Campus Service Award was Jessica Balassi, who is graduating with a degree in musical theater.

“I feel so blessed and honored to be chosen by the faculty for the Campus Service Award. I was not expecting this award at all and was completely shocked to hear my name announced,” Balassi said in an email. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in classes, performance groups and productions at Missouri Baptist University and I am so grateful to the faculty and staff for their investment in my life.”

The Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities award is given to the top 10 percent of the graduating class and the organization publishes a book with the names of all the recipients from across the United States.

The Outstanding Scholars awards are a diverse group of awards from many organizations that choose to honor distinguished students within the community.

The division awards are given to the top students in each academic division of MBU.

An award that many people are unaware of is the selection to be a Junior Marshal.

Junior Marshals are the highest academically ranked students of the junior class and escort the approximate 900 graduates through the commencement exercises.

After the ceremony, a reception was held in Mabee Great Hall where the recipients of the awards could mingle with each other, family, friends and faculty and eat delicious snacks including toasted ravioli, chocolate-covered strawberries and miniature cheesecakes.

The Outstanding Students of Achievement Ceremony is just another outlet for students to shine on at MBU.

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