Senior Alumni Award, its History and Value

Courtney Duchene

The Office of Alumni Relations is currently seeking nominations for the Senior Alumni Award.

First given in 2006, the Senior Alumni Award recognizes two members of the senior class each year “who, based on their under- graduate career, show promise of making significant contributions to… their careers, their com- munity and/or Ursinus College,” Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Taylor Clark said in an email.

Once the nominations are received, a committee of faculty and staff reviews each submission to choose the two award winners. Clark described some of the traits they look for in a candidate.

“The committee looks for outstanding students who show a promise of engagement with the institution after they graduate as well as serving as leaders in any community of which they are a part,” she said.

Last year, Allie Cook and Chris Tan received the award.

Tan served as student government vice president during his senior year and was captain of the wrestling team. In addition to these activities, he participated in National Model U.N. and the college’s Finance Scholars program. He was also a member of the Cub & Key, Alpha Pi Sigma, and Omega Delta Epsilon honors societies. Currently, he is working at the Vanguard Group as part of their Emerging Leader Development program.

Cook, an Environmental Studies major, served as a Sustainability Fellow and the President of UC Environmental Action. In addition to her work helping the campus become more environmentally conscious, Cook studied abroad, played basketball, was part of the Ultimate Frisbee team, and interned with Conservation Corps of Minnesota & Iowa in Hinckley, MN for two summers. Currently, she is working as a FoodCorps AmeriCorps Service Member. Eventually, she hopes to start her own Community Supported Agriculture farm and provide organic vegetables to her community.

Cook said it was a “huge honor” to be recognized for her leadership at Ursinus and said that her time as a student has really helped her clarify her professional ambitions.

“My time in the Environmental Department has provided me with direction for what I want to do in life. All throughout high school I worked on a farm and knew that I wanted to have some type of job that deals with food and agriculture. My classes in the ENV department confirmed that.

Taking courses like Community and Sustainable Food Systems and Advanced Critical Thinking along with my Capstone de- signing the WERS Food Forest introduced me to opportunities surrounding food that I did not even know were out there. The passion my professors showed in their classes inspired me to follow my dreams,” Cook said.

Former senior alumni award winners have gone on to medical school and PhD programs as well as jobs in finance, college admissions, and research editing. Past winners include former gymnastics team member and CIE Fellow Riley Acton ‘15, former CSCG Fellow Zeba Hussaini ’14 and former “Grizzly” Editor-in- Chief Brian Thomas ’17.

Clark encourages students to nominate their peers for the award and said that Ursinus has always asked for student nominations.

“We love to see students nominating their friends, peers and teammates and recognizing their excellence in the classroom as well as in life,” she said.

To nominate someone for the Senior Alumni Award, use the link sent out by the UC Alumni account before February 8. Winners will be honored at the Alumni Awards Ceremony on Saturday April 13 from 3-4 p.m. in Bomberger Auditorium.