SMU’s most outstanding gather together for a night of recognition

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An athlete, volunteer and leader received the Presidential Award of Excellence April 16 at the Hilltop Excellence Awards for their achievements in balancing academics along with other passions.

Bryce Clark, a midfielder on SMU’s soccer team, received the Scholar/Athlete Award for his excellence as a team member and student.

“I knew SMU was just as competitive in the classroom as it was on the soccer field, so it forced me to be on top of my education first,” Clark said.

Over 150 people were nominated for awards, and there were 46 recipients. Each nominee had to meet specific requirements and go above and beyond their call of duty academically and in extracurricular areas.

Anne Marie Murphy, a student nominee, left the ceremony empty handed, but that did not discourage her.

“Although I didn’t receive the Outstanding Senior Woman Award for the whole school, I was beyond honored to have been nominated by my department as the Outstanding Senior Woman in the education school,” Murphy said. “To know that I am even close to being as accomplished as the people who did win is such an honor.”

As a tradition, the student body president gives a “State of the University” address. This year, Student Body President David Shirzad covered important changes that the university had implemented over the past school year, such as the creation of a student advisory board to Facilities.

Shirzad stated that the Student Senate created specific focuses for the school year, specifically the improvement of communication.

“One focus that I believe, and all of us believe, is super important was to have consistent and clear communication from our students and our administration,” Shirzad said.

Examples of this clear communication include the creation of Boulevard debrief meetings, student emergency operation debrief meetings and a single calendar listing every event on campus.

Next year, Shirzad said to expect mobile ordering at Mac’s Place, and he’s hopeful Hughes-Trigg will receive renovations.

Shirzad was just one of the 15 who received the the last and most honorable award of the night, the M Award, along with five faculty members at nine other students.

A complete list of recipients can be found below:

The M Award:


Stephanie Amsel

William Bridge

Elsie Johnson

Mary Jane Johnson

Mikel Saloma


Anna Bender

Madeleine Case

Richmond Dewan

DeAngelo Garner

Will Jones

Matthew Lucci

Jessica Pires-Jancose

David Shirzad

Angela Wang

Karly Zrake

Presidential Awards of Excellence:


Bryson Clark


Alexandra Rutherford

Scholar Volunteer:

Ekiomoado Olumese

James E Caswell Award:

Jacquelyn Elias

Emmie V. Baine Legacy Award:

Sydney Clark

A. Kenneth Pye Outstanding Greek Leader Award:

Drew Benson

Blair Betik

Charmion Davis

Samantha Klaassen

Ian McManus

Chad Solomon

Extra Mile Award

Matthew Boulanger

Adreana Julander

Conchita Villar-Martin

The Sheri Mooney Memorial Recognition:

Erin Walsh

Mary Parker Johnstone

Outstanding Faculty/Staff Volunteer Award:

Sarah Feuerbacher

Outstanding Senior Woman Award:

Nivethitha Manohar

Outstanding Senior Man Award:

Chikwarauzo Isaac Oti

Outstanding Administrator Award:

Elizabeth Killingsworth

Outstanding Staff Award:

Mary Jane Johnson

Outstanding Trustee Award:

Bill Armstrong

Willis M. Tate Award:

Ben Voth

John L. Freehafer Award:

Hannah Ali

Rachel Bergeson

James “Peach” Kuchler

Ryan Lozano

Clinton Osifo

Taylor Vinson

Avella Winn Hay Award:

Ray Cipriano

Umphrey Lee Award:

Raven Harding

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