Students Recognized at Prestigious All-University Awards Ceremony

All-University Awards Graphic-no box

Each year, the top Texas A&M University students are recognized for their outstanding scholastic, extra-curricular and service activities at the Parents’ Weekend Committee’s All-University Awards Ceremony. The 2013 All-University Awards Ceremony was held April 14 in Rudder Auditorium and recognized recipients of the Buck Weirus Spirit Award, Gathright Scholar Award, Margaret Rudder Service Award and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Among the elite students recognized at the event were nine undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications.

The Buck Weirus Spirit Award is sponsored by The Association of Former Students and Houston A&M Club. The award is named for former Executive Director of The Association of Former Students, Richard “Buck” Weirus ’42. The award honors up to 55 students each year who demonstrate high involvement, create positive experiences, impact student life and enhance the Aggie Spirit. Participation in student organizations, Aggie traditions and university events are taken into consideration for the selection of recipients. This year, 50 Buck Weirus Spirit Awards were presented, six of which went to students in the ALEC Department.

ALEC Recipients of the Buck Weirus Spirit Award were Kevin Andrews, graduate student, Kalee Bumguardner, graduate student, Samantha Garcia, senior agricultural leadership and development student, Lesli Garrett, junior agricultural economics and agricultural communications and journalism student, Daylon Koster, sophomore agricultural leadership and development student and Monica Zuniga, junior agricultural communications and journalism student.

“Texas A&M University places great emphasis on ‘The Other Education,’” Andrews said. “I always tell prospective students that this is the real reason to come to Texas A&M. I’ve held some official roles and positions that sound important, however, I am most proud of the little things that I do from time-to-time that aren’t tied to any formal role. I feel my greatest impact was not on a particular organization or event, but rather in the lives of those people who I help fall in love with Texas A&M.”

The Thomas S. Gathright Acadmeic Excellence Award was established in 1973 by the Student Government Association to recognize superior academic achievements of students in their respective colleges. The award, sponsored by The Association of Former Students, is given to the top sophomore, junior and senior in each of the nine colleges across campus. Recipients are determined based on grade point average and ties are broken by the number of credit hours completed and extra-curricular involvement.

Among the three recipients of the Gathright Scholar Award for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences was Mollie Lastovica, junior agricultural communications and journalism major.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this prestigious award,” Lastovica said. “Academics have been extremely important to me since starting at Texas A&M. I have financed my education through scholarships and feel like I owe it to my scholarship donors to succeed in the classroom. It is nice to know that my effort has not gone unnoticed.”

The Margaret Rudder Community Service Award is sponsored by the Department of Student Activities, a division of Student Affairs. The service award seeks to recognize students who have made a significant impact to their community and have grown as leaders and individuals through that positive impact.

Cory Whitaker, senior agricultural leadership and development major, has been involved with S.E.E.K. Camp, Big Event and Gayle’s Pantry at First United Methodist Church in Van Alstyne, Texas. Whitaker was recognized as one of six recipients of the Margaret Rudder Service Award.

“Although others are noticing my service, it is not the recognition that I commit my service for,” Whitaker said. “I enjoy helping others and seeing the benefits that they receive. I would volunteer and give my time to others every day and not expect anything from it. Selfless service is part of being an Aggie.”

Nationally, students at different colleges and universities are selected as recipients of the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges Award. The recognition is bestowed upon students who have exceeded in the classroom and community and it is recognized by more than 2,800 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Aron Hutchins, a 2012 graduate with a degree in agricultural leadership and development, was recognized as one of the 49 Who’s Who recipients at Texas A&M.

To learn more about the Parents’ Weekend Committee, visit their website here.

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