The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor honored its 165th graduating class during a commencement ceremony May 8 at Crusader Stadium. An estimated 490 students, including Corsicana's Emily Paige Reeves, B.S. Biology and Sarah Allison Tagg, B.S. Psychology, were awarded degrees for the spring semester, which included 415 baccalaureate degrees, 57 master’s degrees, and 18 doctoral degrees.

UMHB President Dr. Randy O’Rear commended students for their dedication and determination to finish their degrees during unprecedented times.

“During your junior year, the COVID-19 pandemic altered almost every aspect of college life. It was the longest spring break of all our lives!” O’Rear said. “As seniors, you also survived the once-in-a-lifetime winter storm. These things helped you learn to be intentional and to not take anything, even the little things, for granted. I hope that is one lesson that stays with you as you leave UMHB.”

Student awards given during the ceremony included the Provost Medal for highest overall GPA, which was awarded to 28 students who each graduated with perfect 4.0 grade point averages: Julia Ahlstrom of Katy, Texas; Logan Beatty of Georgetown, Texas; Madelyn Book of Greenville, NM; Hannah Bryant of Plano, Texas; Anya Coleman of Round Rock, Texas; Samuel Cramer of Harker Heights; Michael Dearman of Kaufman, Texas; Jenna Dugas of San Antonio; India Dunn of Temple; Alissa Edgington of Schertz; Nicholas Feistel of Cedar Park, Texas; Abigail Garcia of San Antonio; Karli Glaske of Temple; Annie Hasselbach of Rockdale, Texas; Kristin Kinnibrugh of Liberty Hill, Texas; Collin Long of Nacogdoches, Texas; Hunter McQuary of Magnolia, Texas; Katherine Mutchler of Temple; Jared Poe of Spring, Texas; Gabrielle Pomykal of Belton; Sean Reid of Killeen; Steven Sellers of Murphy, Texas; Cody Smith of Georgetown, Texas; Nobel Smith of Edgewood, Texas; Travis Teague of Gorman, Texas; Zaida Tidwell of Troy, Texas; Domenico Valdespino of Pflugerville, Texas; and Jamie Vargas of San Marcos, Texas.

Five students were also recognized as having met all the requirements of the university’s honors program. To achieve this honor, students had to not only do the necessary coursework but also undertake a senior research project. Each of the following students graduated with honors: Lezley Garcia (magna cum laude) of Pharr, Texas; Scarlett Gardner (summa cum laude) of Harker Heights; Regan Murr (summa cum laude) of San Marcos; Rebecca Pantalion (summa cum laude) of Tomball, Texas; and Megan Skains (summa cum laude) of Huntsville, Texas.

The Loyalty Cup, which is awarded to the student who is most representative of the ideals, traditions and spirit of the university, was given to Miriam Osterlund of Midland, Texas, and Stephen Rowe of Texas City, Texas. The President’s Award for meritorious service went to David Castles of Bullard, Texas.

Three officers were also commissioned during the ceremony: Alexandra Dalle of Austin, Stone Klingaman of Boerne, Texas, and Michael McAuliffe of Katy, Texas.

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