This past Wednesday, the CDR played host to the eighth annual Leadership Awards as part of this year’s presidential inauguration. Wittenberg’s Office of Student Involvement organized the ceremony to celebrate individuals, organizations and events that have left a positive impact on the Wittenberg community.
From honoring Program of the Year and Advisors of the Year; to celebrating diversity, health and wellness or contributions to spiritual life; to recognizing Wittenberg’s unsung heroes – these are a few of the 28 awards that were given out to students and faculty. Nominations were gathered from the entire Wittenberg community, and through a selection committee comprised of students, faculty and staff, the winners were selected. This year saw a record number of 136 nominations that were sent into the selection committee.
The evening began with Pastor Rachel Tune offering encouraging words to over 150 Wittenberg students and faculty about the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death. Maddy O’Malley, ‘18, took the stage and helped encourage attendees to embrace their voice and start the conversation about sexual assault. Rachel Wallace, ‘19, then took the stage to present the winners of several awards: Contributions to Community Living award – won by Residence Life for their housing lottery and Marketing and the Celebration of Diversity – won by Negrophilia. Later, Jon Duraj, Associate Dean of Student Success and Retention, presented the winner for the Student Organization of the Year Award to WittInvest and the Tiger Award – won by five seniors: Sarah White, Michael Kovack, Libby Bauman, Carly Bockhold and Jaymi Green.
“I’ve been a member of WittInvest since I was a freshman and this year was such a special year for the club,” Maxim Boone, ‘18 and President, said. “Membership has flourished with attendance and engagement tripling from last year. Winning Organization of the Year shows how hard our members and officers have worked to make this year a success.”
Next up was Katie Bunsold’s, ‘18, turn to present the winners of three awards: Program of the Year – won by RHA and GSDA for their drag show; Contribution to Health and Wellness – won by The Peer Advocate Program; and Women of the Year – won by Lizzie McNeal, Karen Hunt and Sarah Jurewicz. Isabella Wagner, ‘19, then named the winners of two awards: The Richard R. Scott Faculty/Staff Member of the Year – won by Kevin Carey; and Dietrich Academic Excellence – won by the sorority of Gamma Phi Beta with a GPA of 3.45 and the fraternity of Lambda Chi Alpha with a GPA of 3.23.
The pair of Charles Samuel, ‘19, and Ross Angelo, ‘20, took turns presenting the winners of the next four awards: Most Improved Greek Chapter – won by the ladies of Alpha Xi Delta; Contribution to Community Involvement – won by The Lesotho Nutrition Initiative; the Unsung Hero – won by Vanessa Foland from the CDR; and the Outstanding Community Service and Philanthropy – won by the sorority of Alpha Delta Pi for back-to-back years and the fraternity of Phi Kappa Psi.
Last but not least, it was Carol Nickoson, Director of Student Involvement, and Carey who announced the winners of the last five awards: Emerging Leader of the Year – won by Abby Glass, ‘21; New Organization of the Year – won by Women’s Water Polo; The Club Sport and Recreation Organization of the Year – won by the Caving Club; Chapter of Excellence – won by the sorority of Kappa Delta; Greek Woman of the Year – won by Kayla Winn, ‘18, from the sorority of Alpha Delta Pi; and Greek Man of the Year – won by Lucas George, ‘18, from the fraternity of Delta Tau Delta.
The evening came to a conclusion with President Michael Frandsen giving his closing remarks by thanking everyone for making his inauguration week a part of history and celebrating what it means to be a Wittenberg Tiger. With his time at Witt, he says that his mission is to be there for the students and help them learn, grow and change into the leaders that the world needs.