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The most distinguished seniors at EIU are individuals who have enriched the university community with their active involvement in all facets of campus life. The Distinguished Senior Awards recognizes those who have demonstrated outstanding character and leadership through academic achievement, campus and community involvement, and/or extra-curricular honors or awards. This year's recipients will be recognized during a luncheon on Saturday, April 29, 2017.

The deadline for nominations and applications for the 2017 Distinguished Senior Awards has passed.

2017 Recipients

 2017 Distinguished Seniors

Left to right—front row: Maralea Negron, Katie Price, Greta Dieter, Kelsie Abolt, Brittany Jones, Alexis Garner, Yuan Yuan; middle row: Larissa Kmetz, Jennifer Mazurkiewicz, Baylee Dibble, Kharis Campanano, Paxson Menard, Leon Mire; back row: Catelin Witt, Greg Rogers, Lucas Johnson, Austin Parrish, Nathan Gayheart, Riley McInerney, and president of the Alumni Association board of directors, Terry Prillaman ’81. Not pictured: Bryn Buckwalter, Rachel Garippo, Ruth Garippo, Ivy Handley, Megan Ivey, and Molly Newland.

In alphabetical order, this year’s recipients included Kelsie Abolt, a family and consumer sciences major from Charleston; Bryn Buckwalter, a recreation administration major from Freeport; Kharis Campanano, a psychology major from Aurora; Baylee Dibble, a special education major from Plainfield; Greta Dieter, a political science major from Oswego; Rachel Garippo, a health administration major from Roselle; Ruth Garippo, an accounting major from Roselle; Alexis Garner, a family and consumer sciences major from Mt. Carmel; Nathan Gayheart, a chemistry teacher education major from Penfield; Ivy Handley, a special education major from Decatur; Megan Ivey, a journalism major from Belleville; Lucas Johnson, a political science major from Orion; Brittany Jones, a biological sciences major from Bolingbrook; Larissa Kmetz, a sociology major from Peru; Jennifer Mazurkiewicz, a special education major from Norridge; Riley McInerney, a kinesiology and sports studies major from Charleston; Paxson Menard, a sociology major from Poplar Grove; Leon Mire, a philosophy major from Mattoon; Maralea Negron, a political science and foreign languages major from Elgin; Molly Newland, a special education major form South Elgin; Austin Parrish, a biological sciences major from Anderson (IN); Katie Price, a special education major from Dawson; Greg Rogers, a kinesiology and sports studies major from Collinsville; Catelin Witt, a political science and communication major from Carlinville; and Yuan Yuan, a finance major from Beijing, China.

2016 Recipients

 2016 Recipients

Front Row L: Kayla Owens, Victoria Quarton, Zoe Roberts, Angela Engebretson, Amanda Krch, Amie Hansen, Helen Plevka

Middle Row L: Mallory Kowaleski, Stephanie Wallace, Jaime Escatel, Sarah Wirtz, Ashley Renkor, Rajae White

Back Row L: President Glassman, Joann Wakefield, Nick Smith, Robert Skolik, Kyle Callender, Daniel Webster, Kaitlyn Lacy, Tom DuBois

About the Distinguished Senior Awards

Award Criteria

To apply for this honor, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be graduating in the Spring, Summer, or Fall 2017.
  • Have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.


Eligible students may either apply or be nominated.

Award Selection and Presentation

Up to 25 recipients will be chosen and recognized during a luncheon held in their honor on Saturday, April 29, 2017. More information will be sent to those selected the second week in April.