The 2023 Senior Awards Convocation was held Monday, May 1, at historic Graham Chapel on the campus of Montreat College. The annual ceremony honored the hard work, dedication, and outstanding achievements of seniors, who have excelled in their respective fields of study.

Before the awards were announced, Professor Kevin Auman, chair of studies in communication and the arts, reflected on the life of Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr., and the lessons his life offers soon-to-be graduates about finding purpose in life, loving others, and not living in self-reverence.

“Seek to serve others, and you’ll find contentment, peace, and joy,” Auman advised. “Seek to serve yourself, and you’ll find a bottomless pit of emptiness growing inside you.”

After Dr. Lisa Toland, Honors Program director and program director for faculty of history, language, and literature, read Proverbs 20:5 and Psalm 57:1-3, the following awards were presented:

Outstanding Bible And Ministry Graduate: Aaron Morrison
Hicks Anderson Outstanding Business Graduate: Caitlin Minor
Outstanding Communication Graduate: Destini Phifer
Outstanding Cybersecurity Graduate: Grayson Roper
Outstanding Elementary Education Graduate: Peyton Roth
Outstanding Exercise Science Graduate: Anna Helen Marshall
Outstanding Health Science Graduate: Jenna Mallory
Outstanding History Graduate: Matthew Coffman
Elizabeth H. Maxwell Literature Awards: Lillian Queen and Zoe Evans
Outstanding Music Business Graduates: Sage McCammon and Thomas Modak
Outstanding Outdoor Education Graduate: Leslie Grace Noonan
Outstanding Outdoor Ministry Graduate: John “David” Husbands
Outstanding Psychology And Human Services Graduate: Flora Grimstead
Writing Program Service Award: Zoe Evans
Student Government Association (SGA) Staff Person of the Year: Andrew Buckwalter
SGA Excellence Award: Ivana Marin Munoz
Faculty Service Award: Matthew Smith

In the ceremony, Caitlin Minor was named the School of Arts and Sciences Class of 2023 valedictorian, while Jenna Mallory was recognized as salutatorian. In addition, Professor Ben Brandenburg, Assistant Professor of History, was honored as the recipient of the 2022-23 David L. Parks Distinguished Faculty Award based on his creative and effective teaching, scholarship, personal and professional integrity, and his commitment to the mission of Montreat College.

Dr. Peter Yoder, Assistant Professor of Honors and History, closed in prayer, asking for a spirit of humility and celebrating Christ for the good work he has begun in this year’s graduating class at Montreat College.