Student Academic, Service, and Leadership Awards Convocation

The Student Academic, Service, and Leadership Awards Convocation recognizes candidates for graduation who have flourished within the threefold purpose of the University as expressed in the preamble to the University’s mission statement: the encouragement of learning, the education of the whole person, and the service of faith and the promotion of justice. Student honorees have risen to the challenge of the Jesuit and Marymount traditions and have, by their example, enriched our educational community.



2023 Awardees

Obioma Ugorji

Class of 2023 Valedictorian

One student from the graduating class is chosen to say farewell on behalf of the graduating class on Commencement Day. The Valedictorian achieves a minimum 3.7 grade point average after at least sixty graded semester hours in residence at the university and is selected on the basis of a speech presented to the Valedictorian Selection Committee, a delegation of faculty, administration, and students representative of the university.

Layla Rainosek

University Scholar of the Year

This award is chosen from the College and School Scholars who entered the university as a first-year student and has achieved the highest grade point average and the most outstanding academic record of the Class of 2023. This is the most prestigious academic honor awarded to an undergraduate by LMU. 

Tomasz (Tomi) Kufel

The Ignatian Award

The Ignatian Award is a tradition shared by many Jesuit educational institutions. While each school chooses its own criteria and may offer the award to students, alumni, or even members of the greater community, the varying forms of the award are united by their function of recognizing outstanding service in the Jesuit tradition. LMU’s Ignatian Awardee is chosen out of the distinguished men who are awarded a Presidential Citation. The awardee has been selected by a committee of faculty and administrators for selfless service, ethical leadership, and academic excellence.

Claribel Alcantar

The Marian Award

The Marian Award is a tradition unique to LMU overseen by members of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, the sisters affiliated with LMU through the merger with Marymount College. This award has evolved to complement the Ignatian Award by recognizing one woman amongst the Presidential Citation awardee who has proven to be a model of service, leadership, and academic achievement.

Nona Pittman

The Donald P. Merrifield, S.J. Intercultural Award

The Donald P. Merrifield, S.J. Award is given to the outstanding senior who has contributed to interculturalism on campus and beyond. Donald P. Merrifield, S.J., dedicated his life to this university. He diligently served as an agent of change and contributed substantially to the university's heritage of cultural consciousness and progressive social action.

Christina Noravian and Gabi Jeakle

The Robert Graham, S.J. Alumni Award

The Robert Graham, S.J. Alumni Award is the most prestigious service and leadership award. It is named for Father Graham, a Jesuit, who was LMU alumni relations director for nearly 20 years. He is the founder of what is known today as the University Advancement. Conferred by the Alumni Association, the award is presented to two outstanding seniors who, during their tenure at the university, have excelled in areas of service and leadership.

Ayana O'Brien

The James Loughran, S.J. Service Award

The James Loughran Award recognizes the outstanding senior who, during the course of his or her college tenure, has best exemplified the Jesuit and Marymount ideals of hard work and generosity and has made a significant impact in the local community, primarily through off-campus service.

Maya Kalach

The Magis Award

Magis, which in Latin means “the more,” is a profound and deeply personal Jesuit concept. It embodies the act of discerning the best choice in a given situation, striving for the better, and seeking excellence. The Magis Award is a special and distinct honor that is not awarded each year. It is reserved for unique contributions to our community and often propelled by singular passion and grit.

Alaysia Barker-Vaughn,
Jordan Fray,
Cole Cook, and
Mark Peter Lopez

The Arrupe Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award

The Arrupe Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is selected by the University Intercultural Council who evaluates candidates based on the significance of academic contributions in DEI focused areas, how the student has furthered LMU’s understanding of DEI in the broader LMU community, and future and aspirational plans post-graduation. The namesake for this award honors Jesuit Superior General Father Pedro Arrupe, S.J., who worked tirelessly for the promotion of justice in the service of faith.

Program Scholars

The Program Scholars are recognized as having achieved the most outstanding academic records in their respective majors. Each of these bachelor’s degree candidates has completed at least sixty graded semester hours in residence at the university.

2023 Awardees

Jules Abella
Abdulwahab Almathen
Mohammed Alrabeeah
Kelli Andrade
Karen Arizmendi
Gwyneth Bechunas
Erin Bender
Ellen Blackmer
Ashley Blalock
Amber Bliss
Sage Boyd
Baxter Chase
Samantha Cheng
Mason Cooney
Halley Dante
Michelle Dell
Terrin Joseph Dooley
Keren Eshed
Julia Fardsalehi
Nelea Fong
Jordan Fray
Marieann Garzon
Samuel Gazarian
Natalie Gifford
Jessica Griggs
Shivani Gowda
Christopher Guerra
Carolyn Harmon
Nathan Hayes
Danielle Hjerpe

Emily Hillebrandt
Xueqing (Catherine) Hu
Giana Hubbard
Daisy Huerta
Kelly Hugo
William Judy
Heidi Johnson
Zoe Katzen
Vivian Kwang
Jacob Longini
Quetzali Lopez
Ruth Luna
Sam (Sandra Faye) Luna
Hao Luong
Lily Maddox
Anacan Mangelsdorf
Rachel Meilak
Christopher McCarthy
Michael McCarthy
Ryan McCue
Rachel Meilak
Donya Moghtader
Rebecca Neuren
Chinelo Okafor
Dana Marie Olson
Leonardo Dominguez Ortega
Jake Pappas
Kaitlyn Park
Sekou Parker
Loviisa Pasternak
Kierstin Perkins
Lauren Phillips

Nona Pittman
Alexander Rabushka
Layla Rainosek
Karina Richman
Natalie Riddick
Claribel Romo
Tamar Rotstein
Lindley Saffeir
Saad Salman
Madelaine Sarisky
Claire Shepard
Abigail Smith
Aidan Smith-Fagan
Emil Sol
Ana Gomez Soto
Lily Spirtos
Mary Anne Tucker
Emily Uhland
Juan Uribe
Steven Walker
Liam Wall
Jordan White
Mollie Williams
Conner Wilson
Ian Woo
Donovan Yoshida
Daniel Zonni

College and School Scholars

These scholars are determined to have the most rigor of their program while obtaining among the highest grade point average within their respective College and School. The School of Education Scholar is selected from the graduating seniors who have indicated a future interest in teaching by majoring in Liberal Studies within the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts and/or minoring with the School of Education.

2023 Awardees

Julia Fardsalehi
Jordan Fray
Danielle Hjerpe
Heidi Johnson
Emily  Kuklinski
Ryan McCue
Sekou Parker
Liam Wall

Presidential Citations

Presidential Citations are awarded by the president to the graduating seniors nominated by the academic community and selected by a committee of faculty and administration for outstanding academic record, leadership, and service. The awardees have earned this distinction by demonstrating their commitment to the university mission in their own unique ways, and they are all commended today for embodying the university’s goal to create “persons for and with others.”

2023 Awardees

Claribel Alcantar
Karina Arenas
Gwyneth Bechunas
Aishwarya Bhutkar
Ben Brookbanks
Christina Cesnik
Halley Dante

Rachael Fisher
Liam FitzGerald
Mariel Fuentes
Veronica Gomez
Brisa Gutierrez
Daisy Huerta
Tomasz (Tomi) Kufel

Julia Lemmon
Amira Mahomed
Jullian Montes-Pearson
Ariel Nelson
Christina Noravian
Ayana O'Brien

Raymunde McKay, R.S.H.M. Award

Raymunde McKay, R.S.H.M., was the former president of Marymount College and her leadership was instrumental in the merger of Loyola University and Marymount College in 1973. This award is given in her honor and presented to graduating seniors in recognition of their outstanding leadership throughout their undergraduate careers.

2023 Senior Awardees

Claribel Alcantar
Alaysia Barker-Vaughn
Warren Binder
Raymond CangKimVo
Lauren Cassiano
Christina Cesnik


Brisa Gutierrez
Rukhbaan Hayer
Kennedi Hewitt
Yukana Inoue
Andrea Libby
Sarah Lu
Kendall Nether

Saúl Rascón Salazar
Ashley Salisbury
Jane Tse
Obioma Ugorji
Ruby Walker

Alfred Kilp, S.J. Award

The Kilp Award is given to third-year students who, in the past year, have demonstrated a high degree of service and promise for continued involvement in co-curricular leadership.

2023 Junior Awardees

Aria Fulton
Gabriel Gutierrez
Drew Hartz
Heidi Ly
Gabriel Mouritzen
Declan North

Aidan Pidgeon
Makena Robison
Natalie Skaggs
Aiden Spagnoli
Sarah-Jane Thomson

Jeremy Valle
Lyza Weisman
Bailey Woinarowicz

Renee L. Harrangue, Ph.D. Award

Renee Harrangue, Ph.D., came to Marymount College in 1958. Her longstanding service to both Marymount College and LMU is varied and impressive. She was dean of Marymount College and served as the first provost of LMU, professor, and director of the Marymount Institute. This award honors the unique accomplishments of our second-year students and encourages their continued involvement in campus life, service, and leadership.

2023 Sophomore Awardees

Caroline Bernal
Gavin Butts
Rachel Dennin
Haley Hogan
Andrea Payre Madrigal
Ethan Stabile
Alexander Villanueva
Jennifer Woo

Peg Dolan, R.S.H.M. Award

Peg Dolan, R.S.H.M., served the LMU community for over 30 years, providing spiritual guidance and counseling to students, faculty, staff, and alumni as director of Campus Ministry, a resident chaplain, and as the alumni chaplain. The Peg Dolan, R.S.H.M. Award is given to first-year students who have demonstrated service, leadership, and exceptional promise to remain involved throughout their tenure at the university.

2023 First-Year Awardees

Exodus Broussard
Ethan Carter
Nicholas Gustafson
Amani Rivers
Audrey Ann Wood

Student Life Awards

Emily Solomon

Ambassador of the Year

Celebrates the international character of our student body by recognizing the student whose contributions have advanced an awareness of the university's membership in the global community.

Sarah Lu and Emin Torlic

Scholar-Athletes of the Year

Top male and female athletes who demonstrate academic achievement, outstanding citizenship, and success in a varsity sport.

Ben Brookbanks

Fraternity Member of the Year

Recognizes one student for their contributions to the fraternity community for valued service within their chapter and exemplary leadership within the university community.

Claire Shin

Sorority Member of the Year

Recognizes one student for their contributions to the sorority community for valued service within their chapter and exemplary leadership within the university community.

Madeleine Kilroy

Interfraternal Scholar of the Year

Bestowed upon one student who has achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and has made significant leadership contributions to the fraternity and sorority community.

Student EXP and Graduate Awards

The Book Nook

New Outstanding Organization of the Year

A new student organization that made positive contributions to the campus community and is a model for other organizations.

African Student Association

Student Organization of the Year

Student organization that made positive contributions to the campus community and is a model for other organizations.


Crimson Circle Service Organization 
Lori Stanley

Practice Ignatian Values Award

Chi Delta Theta
Lisa Faremouth Weber

Integrate, Mind, Body, and Spirit Award

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Tau Kappa Chapter
Maryellen Serratos

Commit to Service and Justice Award

El Espejo Mentoring Program
Lala Minassian

Become a Global Citizen Award

Han Tao
Francisco Calderon

Live a Life of Purpose Award