Ben Nicol (1999), Chief Executive Officer of the Phi Kappa Psi Foundation, has been named the 2017 recipient of the William D. Jenkins Outstanding Foundation Professional Award, an honor presented annually by the North-American Interfraternity Conference Foundation (NICF) for fundraising professionals. “He is well beyond his chronological age in terms of his counsel, his temperament and his savvy as a senior leader,” said Frederick Hegele, Chair of Phi Kappa Psi Foundation. “He has a remarkable ability to maintain a steady, positive mindset on both the greatest of successful moments as well as the dark days faced by all senior executives.” Read more.
Meena Venkataramanan (2017) won first place in the Optimist International Oratorical World Championships, an international public speaking contest, and won a $20,000 scholarship. This year’s topic was “what the world gains from optimism.” The speech contest was held in St. Louis on June 15 and 16.
Several 2017 Coca-Cola Scholars were invited to attend the U.S. Presidential Scholars program this June in Washington, DC. The U.S. Presidential Scholar award is the top academic award high school seniors can achieve, and it is given to around 130 students from across the nation each year. Students went on a tour of the White House, met the First Lady, and attended a recognition program at the Kennedy Center.
The 2017 Coca Cola Scholars who are also US Presidential Scholars are:
Aida Mandic (2008) wrote a book, A Candid Aim. “A Candid Aim is an original collection of unique poems and songs that will inspire you to reach for your dreams. Being unique must not be allowed to be seen as a crime. This book is a tribute to all freedom fighters, fierce individuals, and unique souls. Those who dare to be different and go against the grain of society. Those who understand that inspiration is everywhere. These are the brave people who see the injustice in humanity and strive to change the course of history. We need to unite to rock the consciousness of America and the world into better shape.”
Kate Nelson (2013) received the Wallace Sterling Award for Scholastic Achievement for the top 25 graduates in the School of Humanities and Sciences, was the Human Biology student graduation speaker, and named a Rhodes Scholarship Finalist.
Summer Robbins (2013) was named Miss Springfield 2017 and competed at Miss Illinois in June, winning best overall interview.
Brody Hooper (2013) won an Innovate Leader Award and the Paul Licht Teaching Award in Chemistry.
Megan Rosenberger (2013) was named a MLK Drum Major Awardee.
For several Coca-Cola Scholars impacted by the storm, their network has provided a support system, with Scholars checking in on Scholars, providing donations and words of encouragement. Others have rolled up their sleeves and joined efforts to rebuild impacted cities.