The 24th annual Phillips-Perry Black Excellence Awards celebration recognized students for academic achievement and involvement in the Elon Experiences.
Outstanding students along with distinguished faculty and staff members were recognized April 29 at the 24th Annual Phillips-Perry Black Excellence Awards.
The annual celebration included a keynote address by alumnus Brandon Helton ’10, assistant vice president and relationship manager for Wells Fargo Executive Benefits. He recalled attending the Black Excellence Awards as a student and told this year’s recipients that at that time, he didn’t fully realize the advantages he was gaining in earning his Elon degree. “Never stop working to maximize your potential,” Helton said.
The dinner program included a special recognition of Smith Jackson, vice president for student life and dean of students, who is stepping down this spring after 24 years of service. Senior Alexandre Bohannon presented Jackson with the Phillips-Perry Lifetime Service Award. In his acceptance remarks, Jackson recalled growing up in Alabama and witnessing violence by white authorities against blacks during the 1960s. Those experiences shaped his attitudes and his commitment to stand up against injustice.
Also honored at the dinner were Damion Blake, assistant professor of political science and policy studies, with the Wilhelmina Boyd Community Service Award, and dining services staff member Cherryl Payne with the Janice Ratliff Community Service Award.
The awards ceremony included a special student video tribute to Elon President Leo M. Lambert, who has announced plans to conclude his presidency. In his remarks, Lambert told student honorees, “we are proud of you and we hold you up as great examples of what it means to be global citizens of Elon University.”
In her charge to the students, senior Lauren Brown said, “as students of color, we must continue to break the stereotypes…I challenge you to use your platform as Elon students to make change in the world.”
Students honored at the event included the following:
Elon Experiences awards
Internships – K McKay
Study Abroad/Study USA – Maria Gant
Service Learning – Josephine Gardner
Undergraduate Research – Cameron Jackson and Lauren Brown
Leadership – William Tarpley
Highest grade point average for each class
Emily Roper, Alexis Williams, Gabrielle Beamon and La’shaundranique Love Marshall.
Academic Excellence Award for a female athlete
Academic Excellence Award for a male athlete
Asunji Rashad Maddox
Elon Black Alumni Network Scholarship Award
Wilhelmina Boyd Outstanding student in African & African-American Studies
William Christopher Tarpley
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).
Destiny M. Frett
Taylor Noelle McFadden
Tres Marquel McMichael
El-Khalil Mohammed Khalil Osman
Kira Nichelle Sedayao
Maurice B. Tosé II “Bear”
Charleen Martins Lopes
Kayla A. Sabre
Jordyn St. Holder
The Phillips-Perry Black Excellence Awards Celebration is presented by Elon’s Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education (CREDE). The planning committee included the following:
Sylvia Muñoz, interim director of the CREDE/director of the Spanish Center
Marilyn Slade, program assistant for the CREDE
Michael Williams, director of campus center operations and conferences
T.J. Bowie, coordinator for residential dining and engagement
Anita Smith, counselor
Princess King, Elon Academy assistant director of college success
Carolyn Ent, director of events, Office of the President
Deidra Smith, assistant director of alumni engagement