Best exemplifies the Benedictine Values of "the importance of community" and "responsible stewardship of all things".
Ellen, a criminal justice major, was a visible and committed member of the BenU community who balanced a wide variety of activities. During her time at BenU, she was part of Student Government, Student Activities Council, New Student Orientation, and Cross Country and Distance Track. She also worked at Johnson's Food Center.
Some of her favorite things about her BenU experience were close interaction with professors, and the friendly campus. Her nominator said that as president of the student government, Ellen rose to the occasion to shape the culture of the organization into one that serves as the voice of the students.
After graduation, Ellen says the Benedictine hallmark of hospitality will continue to play an important part in her life. "With Benedictine being very hospitable, it has helped me see that people are more comfortable when everyone is welcomed."
She plans to use her degree to do administrative work in the criminal justice field.
Benedictine's highest honor awarded to a graduating senior. The award exemplifies scholarship and service and consistent outstanding curricular and extracurricular activities while attending the University.
It was said by one of Hannah's nominators that she is a "perfect representative of what it means to Benedictine." Not only is she a stellar student, but Hannah, a Health Science major, is engaged in a wide variety of activities on campus, including athletics, campus ministry, starting the Running with the Bulldogs 5k, and serving as president of the Health Science Club. She also works for ScribeAmerica through Memorial Medical Center and is a member of the Sherman Church of the Nazarene. Despite her busy schedule, Hannah has an active spiritual life and regularly finds opportunities to reach out to the less fortunate.
Hannah says she will continue live the BenU hallmark of discipline long after graduation. "By working hard and sustaining a strong sense of dedication to serving the sick and needy, I hope to inspire others to also practice discipline in all they do," she said.
This summer, Hannah will begin attending Lincoln Memorial
University-Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. In the future, she hopes to work
as a physician internationally.
St. Benedict Award
Awarded to a non-traditional graduate who best exemplifies the values of "scholarship" and "a life lived in balance"
Jessica, a Management and Organizational Behavior major, works hard at everything she does – and others take notice. According to her colleagues in the Registrar's office, where Jessica worked during her time at BenU, she is not only a hard worker, but friendly, courteous and welcoming to all.
The person who nominated Jessica said she is the "poster person" for the Benedictine hallmarks. Jessica says that prayer and discipline play an important part in her life. "The prayer aspect takes discipline to implement in our chaotic lives. It is so easy to forget amidst all the craziness of day-to-day life God is waiting for us to lay our troubles at his feet and walk in his light, and that requires prayer and discipline," she said.
Jessica was drawn to BenU because of the unique adult program that allows cohorts of students to remain together throughout the pursuit of their degree. She said that supporting each other helped her and her classmates to all succeed. Jessica so enjoyed her time at BenU that she hopes to apply her management skills as a university employee someday.She is also a member of Real Life Church and Heroes of Innocence.
Best exemplifies the Benedictine Values of "academic excellence and "the importance of development".
Many on campus have recognized Todd as an exceptional student and caring individual. Said one of his nominators, "He possesses that rare quality of intellect that sets apart from others, yet does not separate him." He spent his time at BenU really discovering what he is passionate about, exploring different majors until he found his fit with Health Science.
During his time at BenU, Todd felt the staff really got to know him and care about his success. In turn, he helped other students to find success by working as a math and science tutor. He was also an orientation leader, a member of the Student Activities Council and Science Club, and worked for ScribeAmerica.
Todd says he will continue to live the BenU hallmark of hospitality after graduation. "My success with tutoring students has come from making the students feel comfortable and understanding what they need, and I hope this will continue in a career in healthcare."
Todd's next steps include plans to pursue medical school.
Best exemplifies the Benedictine Value of "hospitality".
"Danny walks to the beat of his own drum," said one of his nominators. He doesn't follow what others do, or get caught up in any drama. While at BenU, his talent and creativity flourished in the Communication Arts program, where he found that he enjoyed many aspects of the field.
Danny's favorite thing about BenU was the faculty, which in his words, were "outstanding." Though he is still considering which communication discipline is the right fit for him, he knows that the Benedictine hallmark of community is something that will continue to be part of his life, and he plans to "find multiple ways to help people."
He is a hard worker who balanced school, playing on the soccer team, and working for Sodexo and Julia's Kitchen and Lounge with ease.
Best exemplifies the Benedictine Value of "a life lived in balance".
Best exemplifies the Benedictine Value of "searching for God by oneself and with others".
Donna is a perfect example that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. As she pursued a bachelor's degree in Management and Organizational Behavior in the adult program, Donna successfully balanced life as a student, business owner, wife, mother and active member of her church ministry. During her time at BenU, Donna faced the loss of four members of her family in a house fire – deemed the most tragic house fire in Springfield in the last 25 years. She persevered in spite of the great personal challenges. Donna was nominated by multiple faculty members who were impressed with her ability to push ahead with her spiritual strength, and graduate with a 3.75 GPA.
Donna said she experienced firsthand the power of the BenU hallmark of community, and plans to continue to share it with others. "The BenU community embraced me as well as helped me to weather this very challenging time by encouraging me, giving me the spiritual and natural support needed in my pursuit to become a graduate of Benedictine University."As CEO and Executive Director of Victory Through Praise Child Development, Donna plans to use her degree to further develop and grow her business. She is also a member of Community Child Care Connection, Home Day Care Association, I Worship Center, Enos Park Association and has served as the director of Manna Storehouse Food Pantry for five years.