Samford University honored its top student leaders during the school's annual leadership and service convocation Tuesday, April 30.

Jane Marie Hutcheson won the James M. Sizemore Award as the student in the senior class who best demonstrates character, personality, scholarship and unselfish service to Samford.  A communication studies major from Montgomery, Ala., she is the daughter of Harriett and John Hutcheson.

Cameron Collins received the John R. Mott Award as the man in the graduating class who best represents high character, scholarship and student public service.  He also received a Rufus W. Shelton Award as this year's male student who has done the most for the betterment of life at Samford through sustained efforts, and the Omicron Delta Kappa Leader of the Year Award as the member of the leadership honor society who has given exemplary service to the circle and the Samford community.  A public administration/economics major from Cornelius, N.C., he is the son of Kim and Mark Collins.

Meredith Toering received the Gail Hyle Memorial Award as the woman in the graduating class who best exemplifies Christian character, leadership, school spirit and service. She also was a co-winner of the Service Award as a senior who best exemplifies the highest qualities of social service.  A management/social entrepreneurship major from Tulsa, Okla., she is the daughter of Shyla and Larry Toering.

Taylor Bell was named Service Award co-winner as a senior who best exemplifies the highest qualities of social service.  A sociology major from Louisville, Ky., he is the son of John Bell and Elizabeth Wessel.

Abby Sander received a Rufus W. Shelton Award as the female student who has done the most for the betterment of life at Samford. A Spanish major from Jacksonville, Fla., she is the daughter of Jane and Rickie Sander.

Taylor Jackson and Kelly Prater received Luke 2:52 awards, given to two undergraduate students who excel in all areas of student life: civic, social, spiritual and physical.  Jackson, a junior religion major from Robertsdale, Ala., is the son of Christina Jackson and Victor Jackson.  Prater, a junior fine arts major from Appling, Ga., is the daughter of Brenda and John Prater.

Brooks Hanrahan and Laura Ann Prickett received Omicron Delta Kappa freshman leadership awards as the male and female students who showed exemplary character, leadership, service and scholarship during their first year at Samford.  Hanrahan, a communication studies major from Birmingham, is the son of Tracy and Tom Hanrahan.  Prickett, a political science major from Decatur, Ala., is the daughter of Lynne and Charles Prickett.

Jayme Cloninger, a 2011 Samford graduate, gave the convocation lecture on leadership.  Cloninger is manager of public policy for Feed the Children, an international nonprofit relief organization.


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.