Six Anderson University seniors were recognized during honors chapel/convocation on April 19, 2011, for achieving a 4.0 cumulative GPA during their years at AU. Renee Bader, Elizabeth Barrow, Ambrosia Davidson, Keith Sayer, Joanna Tilley, and Samantha Toeller received awards for their outstanding academic achievement. Gabe Miller and Ellen Thompson were also recognized with the Outstanding Senior Athlete Award for their academic and athletic achievement, campus involvement, and leadership.
Dr. Beverley Pitts, president of the University of Indianapolis and a 1968 graduate of Anderson University, received an honorary Doctor of Letters during the chapel. Honorary degrees will also be awarded to AU alumni Steven Curtis Chapman and Charles Myricks, Jr., during the May 7 commencement ceremony at Anderson University.
[Photo: Dr. Beverley Pitts and AU President Dr. James L. Edwards.]
During her address, Pitts reflected on her experience at Anderson University and on those who made her education possible. She encouraged students to consider with gratitude those who made their own journeys possible.
"We are all part of a shared culture at AU," Pitts said. "Faculty, administrators, and graduates long before us built an institution based on the Christian values of personal responsibility and concern for others, high quality learning, and a commitment to service. You don't even know who they are, but much of what you are now experiencing, the privilege of an excellent education in a faith-based institution, is based on their humble beginnings. ... Stand high on the shoulders of those who brought you to this point. Be grateful for the privilege that they have given you. I hope you will take great advantage of this privilege and do good with what you know."
Students recognized during chapel:
Renee Bader, a psychology major, is a member and officer in Phi Eta Sigma, Alpha Chi, and Psi Chi. She is also a Center for Public Service Fellow. Bader anticipates getting married and starting graduate school this summer. She plans to attend the University of Cincinnati to earn a master's degree in school counseling.
Elizabeth Barrow, a biology major and chemistry minor, served as president of Sigma Zeta, president of Alpha Chi, president of the Pre-Professional Health Society, and was co-founder of Operation Foundation: Project Anderson. She served as a TA in a number of science classes and as a tutor in Organic Chemistry. She is also a Center for Public Service Fellow and an officer in Phi Eta Sigma. Barrow is active in a number of campus groups and participated in Tri-S trips to Australia, London, and Honduras. She plans to attend IU Medical School to obtain her M.D.
[Photo, from left: Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean Dr. Marie Morris, Ambrosia Davidson, Joanna Tilley, Keith Sayer, Samantha Toeller, Beth Barrow, Renee Bader, and AU President Dr. James L. Edwards.]
Ambrosia Davidson, a marketing major and Spanish minor, is a member of the AU Honors Program, Delta Mu Delta, Alpha Mu Gamma, Alpha Chi, Phi Eta Sigma, and the Center for Public Service. During her time at AU, she participated in Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE), worked with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, and served an internship at Minnetrista Cultural Center in Muncie. After graduation, Davidson plans to finalize details for her wedding and pursue employment in marketing communications or public relations.
Keith Sayer, a Bible/religion and English double-major, is a member of Alpha Chi, Sigma Tau Delta, and the AU Honors Program. He plans to attend either Vanderbilt Divinity School or Duke Divinity School this fall to pursue graduate studies in religion. Sayer hopes to teach religion at the undergraduate level and participate in teaching ministries of the church through research, writing, and possibly serving as a teaching minister.
Joanna Tilley, a pre-med biology major with minors in chemistry and Christian ministries, is a member of Alpha Chi, Sigma Zeta, Pre-Professional Health Society, Alacritas, and the Center for Public Service. She plans to pursue medical school this fall at Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Va.
Samantha Toeller, an elementary education/special education major and applied music minor, has served in Kappa Delta Pi and Alpha Chi. She is completing her full-year student teaching experience, with classroom experience in 2nd and 6th grades as well as in intermediate special education resource. Toeller hopes to receive a teaching position at a school in Indianapolis or Chicago, and to teach within a multicultural setting in the intermediate grades.
Gabe Miller, an exercise science major, is this year's Outstanding Senior Male Athlete. As a four-year starter for the men's basketball team, he received 1st Team All-HCAC honors following both his junior and senior seasons. Miller led the Ravens in assist over the past four seasons and led in steals the past two years. He played a key role on the 2009-10 team that won the HCAC season championship and made it to the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament. He was the team captain during his junior and senior years.
[Photo, from left: Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean Dr. Marie Morris, Athletic Director Marcie Taylor, Gabe Miller, Ellen Thompson, and AU President Dr. James L. Edwards.]
Ellen Thompson, a biology major, is this year's Outstanding Senior Female Athlete. She was a member of the women's basketball team the past four seasons, a member of the women's golf team during her freshman and sophomore years, and a member of the softball team the past two seasons. In basketball, Thompson earned HCAC All-Conference and team MVP honors during the 2010-11 season. She is the ninth leading scorer in school history with 965 points, second in free throws made (281) and free throws attempted (381), and fourth in free throw percentage at 73.8 percent. She was team captain during her senior season.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.