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F&M Honors Accomplishments of Graduating Seniors

As a throng of family and friends looked on, dozens of graduating Franklin & Marshall College seniors were honored May 9 at the College's annual Senior Awards Ceremony.

"We're here to honor these outstanding students, and of course, we recognize all of our students in the Class of 2014," F&M President Daniel R. Porterfield said in his welcoming remarks.

Melissa Serrano '14 received the annual Dick Winters '41 Award for Perseverance and Leadership, named for the F&M alumnus whose World War II leadership as a solider and an officer was recounted in Stephen Ambrose's 1992 book "Band of Brothers" and subsequent HBO min-series.

  • Senior Awards 2014 Ian and Mandi
  • Ian Irlander '14 and Mandi Tembo '14 were recipients of Franklin & Marshall College's Alice Distler Award, which recognizes students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in volunteer service in the community. (Photo by Melissa Hess)

In her four years at F&M, Serrano has served as coordinator for F&M SLAM, an afterschool mentoring program; spent spring break of her junior year in Honduras working at a medical mission; and visited Europe for five weeks in the summer on a Humanity in Action Fellowship, studying minority rights and conducting research on intolerance and resistance to democratic values. This summer, with the help of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship, she will teach English at a university in Mexico and work on a social change project.

F&M established the Winters Award in 2013 to honor the Pennsylvania soldier's legacy and to recognize a student who exhibited the strength of character, the quality of perseverance and the skill of leadership that defined Winters.

In 2012, a monument was dedicated to Winters on the causeway to Utah Beach in Normandy, France. To date, he is the only American soldier so honored. Stephen Spears, the sculptor who created the monument, designed the medal for F&M's Winters Award.

  • melissa serrano winters award
  • Melissa Serrano '14 received Franklin & Marshall College's annual Dick Winters '41 Award for Perseverance and Leadership. (Photo by Melissa Hess)

The ceremony, held in a packed Ann & Richard Barshinger Center for the Musical Arts, included the presentation of awards to seniors who made significant contribution to various aspects of the College. The award winners were:

  • Dana S. Teano '14 (Mr. & Mrs. Lanious B. Keiper Prize), awarded to student whose grades for the first semester show the greatest improvement over the student's first year.
  • Caitlin M. Brust '14 (The Thomas Gilmore Apple Award), presented to the student who has demonstrated the best ideals of character and leadership within the F&M community.
  • Rebecca W. Green '14 (The Bicentennial Prize), presented to a student who has made exceptional contributions to the College in an extracurricular endeavor.
  • Ian H. Irlander '14 and Mandi Kudza M. Tembo '14 (The Alice Distler Award), recognizes students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in volunteer service in the community.
  • Eleanor W. Garlow '14 (The Muhlenberg Goodwill Award), presented to a student who has exhibited growth in the comprehension of social issues, and who is dedicated to the improvement of social conditions in the larger community.
  • Anita V. Asiedu '14 (The Stanley Craig Memorial Award), presented to the student who demonstrates the highest qualities of personality, character and involvement.
  • senior awards barshinger center
  • Family and friends packed Franklin & Marshall College's Ann & Richard Barshinger Center for the Musical Arts for the 2014 Senior Awards ceremony. (Photo by Melissa Hess) 

Dozens of other students received academic department awards during the ceremony, which included the premiere of "2014," a musical arrangement composed by Christian Walsh '14 and performed by a senior ensemble:

  • Conductor, Kelby Sappington '14
  • Flute, Jennifer Dickey  '14
  • Oboe, Elizabeth Munk  '14
  • Clarinet, Eliana Rabinowitz  '14
  • Alto Saxophone, Nathaniel Freymeyer  '14
  • Bassoon, Ariel Eland  '14
  • French Horn, Matthew Momjian  '14
  • Percussion, Sarah Warnock  '14
  • Violin, Paige Robinson  '14
  • Cello, Christian Walsh  '14

As it does each year, the College also recognizes a high school teacher for outstanding work in encouraging learning and motivating students. The recipient of this year's High School Teacher Award was Emily (Bagoly) Pickering '76, who teaches at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pa. A former student of hers, Sarah Blank, F&M's Class of 2014, nominated Pickering for the award.