John Smeaton, vice provost of student affairs, congratulated an award recipient.
A crowd of more than 300 Lehigh students and parents, staff and faculty gathered in the brilliant sunshine of a late April afternoon to honor student leadership over the past academic year.
The 23rd Annual Student Life Leadership Awards recognized extraordinary contributions in the areas of student life, Greek life, multicultural affairs, community service and volunteerism, student advising, leadership, character, and academics and athletics.
A reception on Karakash Plaza followed the event.
This year’s celebration presented a revamped format that expanded the previously exclusive affair to a more open and inclusive celebration at the base of the Memorial Drive flagpole. An intensive marketing initiative to raise the profile of the event also resulted in a significant increase in nominations, from an average of 100 in previous years to 300 this year.
“We could not have asked for a better day, or a better turnout,” said Jess Manno, the assistant dean of students who led the effort to redesign the annual event to better engage the campus community. “This is a great way to recognize the hard work of our student body. I’m happy we were able to revisit this long-standing Lehigh tradition and put the celebration back out here for everyone to be a part of.”
Added Clark Cohen ‘08, president of the Student Senate and recipient of a Student Club/Organization of the Year Award and University Service Award: “This is perfect way for me to close out my great, four-year experience here at Lehigh. It’s a beautiful campus, and it’s really great that we can all be out here, experiencing this sense of community within the university.”
Sharon Basso, associate vice provost and dean of students, praised the efforts of the Inspiration Team, which was formed to revamp the celebration. As a result of their efforts, she said, the ceremony was able to draw far more members of the Lehigh community and helped spotlight the laudable accomplishments of the students honored.
In addition to Basso and Manno, Lehigh administrators who spoke to the gathering and presented awards included Alice P. Gast, university president; Mohamed El-Aasser, provost; John Smeaton, vice provost of student affairs; Kathleen Hutnik, director of graduate student life; Susan Lantz and Tom Dubriel, associate deans of students; Tim Wilkinson, director of fraternity and sorority affairs; Alta Thornton, director of multicultural affairs; John McKnight, assistant director of multicultural affairs; Carolina Hernandez, director of community service; Chris Wakely, athletics recruitment manager, and Allison Gulati, associate dean of students.
All praised the extraordinary efforts of the honored students, who not only excelled academically, but made significant contributions in enriching the university culture.
“They’re a wonderful group of young people,” said Smeaton. “We’re sorry to see them go, but we know that wherever they go after Lehigh and whatever they do, they’ll do well and do Lehigh proud.”
Students and others honored at this and a previous ceremony this spring are:
Attendees enjoyed refreshments provided after the ceremony.
Bosey Reiter Leadership Cup
Contribution to Student Life Award
Exemplary Cultural Programming Award
Rock for Darfur
Excellence in Entertainment Programming Award
Graduate Student Life Leadership Award
Outstanding Educational Programming Award
Prior to the event, a father adjusted his son’s tie.
Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week
Student Club/Organization Advisor of the Year
Student Club/Organization of the Year Award
Black Student Union
RHA Character Award
Student Life Leadership Award
Service Above Self Award
Student Senate Leadership Award
Undergraduate Student Merit Alumni Award
John McKnight, assistant director of multicultural affairs, presented the Ujima Award to Calvin John Smiley.
*Calvin John Smiley
University Service Award (co-winners)
Office of Multicultural Affairs Awards
Leslie Ezeta, Enrique Hernandez and Dominique Hugg
Adrian Bruce and Walter Joseph
Ahmed Salim and Rita Shankar
Christine D. Smith
K. Sivakumar and Ayanna Wilcher
Ralph Albert Thomas ‘76 Leadership Award:
*Calvin John Smiley
Student Organization of the Year Award:
The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
LGBTQUIA Awards Banquet Winners
The Model Ally Award:
Outstanding Service to the Community Award:
Exemplary Leadership Award:
Faculty/Staff Award for Distinguised Commitment:
Tara Frank and Elvira Pimenta
* Denotes recipients of multiple awards
Photos courtesy of MR Productions