Outstanding students honored at annual Black Excellence Awards
The 23rd annual Phillips-Perry Black Excellence Awards Celebration recognized students for academic achievement and involvement in the Elon Experiences.
Elon's annual celebration of black excellence, held on April 30, included a tribute to black student pioneers as well as the awarding of honors to today's outstanding students. President Leo M. Lambert honored Elon's first black student, Glenda Phillips Hightower, who enrolled in the fall of 1963; and the first black graduate, Eugene Perry, who received his degree in 1969. Their legacy was celebrated earlier this spring at a special College Coffee that included the unveiling of their portraits, which hang in the Moseley Center. The annual spring Black Excellence Awards event is named in their honor.
At a dinner prior to the awards ceremony, Elon's Black Student Union President Alex Bohannan honored Jason Aryeh, assistant professor of dance, with the faculty award, and counselor Anita Smith with the staff award. The keynote address at the dinner was given by Darryl Smith '86, vice president for sales at UPS Capital. He encouraged students to put down their cell phones and take the time to build strong personal relationships with mentors that will lead to success throughout their lives. He said those close relationships are part of his success story, and he mentioned the support he received at Elon from staff members Janice Ratliff and Betty Covington.
The awards ceremony included an address by Brooke Barnett, associate provost for inclusive community, and remarks from President Lambert. Students honored at the ceremony included Maroon Club honorees (grade point average of 3.2-3.49), Gold Club honorees (grade point average of 3.5-3.79), and Phoenix Club honorees (grade point average of 3.8 or higher).
The Phoenix Club honorees included the following:
Elon Experiences honorees included the following:
Internships - Simone Jackson
Study Abroad/Study USA - Morgan Bodenarain
Service Learning - Mariah Bishop
Undergraduate Research - Morgan Fleming
Leadership - Alex Bohannan
Recipients of the awards for the highest grade point average for each class were Marta Djalleta, Gabriella Beamon, Maya Eaglin, Alexis Williams and Marie Bolona. The Academic Excellence Award for a female athlete went to Emily Roper and the Academic Excellence Award for a male athlete went to Javaris Seastrunk.
The Elon Black Alumni Network Scholarship Award was given to Contia Prince and the African and African American Studies at Elon Award recipient was Cassidy Stratton. Senior Douglas Spencer delivered the charge to the students to conclude the ceremony.
The Phillips-Perry Black Excellence Awards Celebration is presented by Elon's Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education (CREDE), which is headed by Randy Williams, associate vice president for campus engagement. The awards committee included Jamie Butler, Marilyn Slade, MIchael Williams, TJ Bowie, Janice Ratliff, Anita Smith, Princess King, David Morrow and Deidra Smith.