Judson Recognizes Graduates for Outstanding Academics and Community Dedication
(Elgin, IL - May 2, 2012) Among the nearly 180 graduates honored at Judson University's spring commencement last Saturday, April 29, a select group of students received awards in recognition for their academic achievements and dedication to the Judson community.
At the annual Senior Chapel on Monday, April 23, the Student Service Award was presented to graduating Seniors Ryan Reopelle, an education major from Elgin, Ill. and Rebekah Street, a business major from Mahomet, Ill.
Reopelle played soccer on Judson’s team for 3 years, and served as Campus Ministries co-chair in the University Ministries organization for 3 consecutive years. He also dedicated time to playing with children through Judson’s Clifford Court ministry and participated in four missions projects during his Judson career.
Street served as Ohio Hall Dorm Activity Coordinator, Social Activities Coordinator, and this year she served as the Vice President of Social Activities through the Judson Student Organization. She has also been involved in several other Judson community outreaches, and recently participated on a missions trip to the Dominican Republic.
The Student Service Award recognizes "the graduating senior who has best exemplified sincerity in dedication to Christ, achievement in academic pursuit, and promotion of Judson University ideals." The name of each year's recipient is inscribed on a plaque that is displayed in the Student Development Office in the Lindner Commons. According to Student Development Director Kelly Skiles, it is rare that Judson recognizes two students for the award in one year, but this year's graduating seniors made it hard to pick just one.
At the 10 a.m. commencement ceremony on Saturday, Adult Program graduate Amy Speweirk was honored with the Ames Award, which recognizes a graduate from Judson's School of Leadership and Business who demonstrates leadership potential to impact their organization and their world in a positive manner.
Speweirk just earned her Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership, after receiving her Bachelor of Management and Leadership in 2009. A wife and mother of five children, Speweirk says she began pursuing her undergraduate degree in 2007, when her youngest child was in fifth grade. Life had slowed a bit and it was time for her to think about her own future.
“The format of the Adult Program at Judson University, one day a week and online access, made completing my degree a reasonable goal to have,” says Speweirk.
At the 2 p.m. commencement ceremony on Saturday, undergraduate architecture student Rebecca LeMaster received the President's Scholar award, which recognizes a traditional undergraduate senior who has demonstrated distinguished academic achievement in the context of a Christian liberal arts program. LeMaster graduated summa cum laude from the honors program, and was the first student to earn the President's Scholar Award in the 15-year history of Judson’s architecture program.
Judson University President Dr. Jerry Cain was also honored at Saturday's commencement ceremonies with an honorary Doctorate of Letters. In September 2011 Dr. Cain announced his retirement, which will take effect June 30, 2012.
Altogether, 179 students graduated getting 137 bachelor’s degrees and 42 master’s degrees. Members of the Judson College classes of 1967 and 1972 were given updated degrees under the institutions’ current name.
Located in Elgin, Ill., since 1963, Judson University is a fully accredited Christian liberal arts and sciences university offering degrees in more than 60 majors and minors. Programs available at Judson include Architecture, Art and Design, Communication Arts, Business, Education, Christian Ministries, Biblical and Theological Studies, Worship Arts, Music, History and Intercultural Studies, Exercise and Sports Sciences, Psychology and Sociology, and Math and Sciences. The school offers a wide variety of extracurricular activities with musical and theater ensembles, 17 intercollegiate sports, student government organizations, and several ministry opportunities locally and abroad. For more information visit www.JudsonU.edu.