Posted by Philip Poole on 2008-05-17

Five Samford University graduates received the university's top awards at commencement ceremonies May 16-17.

Three students tied for the President's Cup, which is presented to the students in the graduating class with the highest grade-point-average. Samford officials said it was rare for three students to tie for the honor.

At May 17 commencement ceremonies, President's Cup recipients were Elizabeth Ann Rice of Tupelo, Miss., who received the bachelor of music education degree, and John Andrew Wesley of Texarkana, Texas, who received the bachelor of arts degree in music.

Deborah Ann Norris of Lake Placid, Fla., graduated in December 2007 with a bachelor of arts degree in family studies.

Kristen Suzanne O'Dillon of Hanceville, Ala., received the Velma Wright Irons Award as the graduating student with the second highest grade-point-average. O'Dillon earned a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry.

At May 16 graduation ceremonies for the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing, Mary Katherine Nunnally was presented the John C. Pittman Spirit Award as the student in the graduating class who demonstrates exceptional Christian character in student life.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.