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SBU students receive academic honors at “Sweet Success”


Southwest Baptist University students graduating in May were recognized for their contributions to their academic areas and divisions during “A Premiere of Excellence: Sweet Success” ceremony Tuesday evening, April 4.

This ceremony recognizes four groups of students – honors graduates, Gordon and Judy Dutile Honors program graduates, division-specific academic award recipients, and veteran and active military graduates. The ceremony also featured a time of devotion, a personalized sweets bar, and a photo booth.

Honorees included the following:

  • Outstanding Art Graduate: Kalen Bradley, Bolivar
  • Outstanding Music Graduate: Tyler Zustiak, Galena, Kansas
  • Kelly Martin Outstanding Criminal Justice Major: Tylor Brashear, Buffalo
  • Pearlene Breshears Outstanding Psychology Major: Sarah Backer, Lebanon
  • Pearlene Breshears Outstanding Psychology Major: Madison Wasylewski, Harrison, Arkansas
  • Evelyn Mercer Outstanding Social Work Major: Katherine Failor, Stone Mountain, Georgia
  • Outstanding Christian Ministry Award: Noah Sass, Hastings, Nebraska
  • Outstanding Biblical Studies Award: Kristen Bownds, Lee’s Summit
  • Outstanding Humanities Graduate: Sarah Johnson Bates, Piedmont
  • Outstanding English Graduate: Taylor Brown, Springdale, Arkansas
  • J.A. Clark Outstanding Student in Natural Sciences: Lindsey Losey, Springfield
  • Natural Sciences Snellen Services Award: Bryant Burns, Ozark, Arkansas
  • Outstanding Business Division Graduate: Gabrielle Ginnings, Wheatland
  • Academic Excellence and Servant Leadership Award: Madisyn Best, Kansas City
  • Academic Excellence and Servant Leadership Award: Nathan MacLaughlin, Springfield
  • Outstanding Computing Area Graduate: Joel Nicholson, Fallon
  • Outstanding Mathematics Area Graduate: Andrew Eisenhour, Springfield
  • Division of Computing and Mathematics Servant Leadership Award: Brian Purkaple, Gladstone
  • Outstanding Elementary Education Major Award: Hanna Glasgow, Grove, Oklahoma
  • Outstanding Elementary Education Major Award: Michaela Tunnell, Stockton
  • Outstanding Secondary Education Major Award: Hayley Hershenson, West Plains
  • Outstanding Kinesiology Division Graduate: Sydney Ernsbarger, Nevada
  • Florence Nightingale Award: Savannah Garrison, Springfield
  • Gordon and Judy Dutile Honors Program Graduates: Sarah Backer, Lebanon; Jared Bates, Forsyth; Addison Batschelett, Clinton; Tatum Bell, Kansas City, Kansas; Andrew Eisenhour, Springfield; Bethany Glore, High Hill; Brian Purkaple, Gladstone; Rebekah Rodgers, Siloam Springs, Arkansas; Zachary Wallgren, Wentzville

In addition to the individual honors, SBU President Dr. Rick Melson and Provost Dr. Tracy Manly presented cords to 91 seniors graduating with honors — 18 Cum Laude, 19 Magna Cum Laude and 54 Summa Cum Laude.

SBU will host three spring commencement ceremonies — one ceremony for bachelor degree recipients at 3 p.m., and one for associate degree recipients at 6 p.m., Friday, May 19, and one for graduate degree recipients at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 20. The ceremonies also will be available for viewing simultaneously on livestream. Visit SBUniv.info/graduation for more information about the ceremonies.