CMU Graduates Gain Top Honors

Commencement awards to Bailey, Oliver, Powell

Commencement at Central Methodist University this past Saturday (May 11) was a special one for the more than 300 graduates recognized that day, yet was even more memorable for three of them.

The three were surprised when President Marianne Inman named them recipients of CMU's highest student honors.

Kristen Bailey was awarded the Selecman Award, Nathaniel Oliver the Victoria Award, and Jessica Powell the Human Relations Award during graduation ceremonies Saturday afternoon in CMU's Puckett Fieldhouse.

Kristen Bailey, Selecman Award

Kristen Bailey, a chemistry major with teaching certification, received the Selecman Award. It is the highest CMU student citation.

The award is named after Bishop Charles Claude Selecman, an 1898 graduate of Central. He was on the college's governing board in 1913-14, and served as the third president of Southern Methodist University in Dallas from 1922-38.

Selecman established the award at CMU in 1957, asking that it go to a student who displays to "an extraordinary degree" good citizenship, scholarship, religious leadership, moral and spiritual qualities, and outstanding achievements.

Bailey is the daughter of Richard and Gina Kay Bailey of St. Louis and is a graduate of Parkway West High School in Ballwin. An extremely active student at CMU, her achievements and involvements include:

  • A high grade point average and a member of the Dean's list five     times
  • A member of the CMU women's soccer team for two years
  • Membership in Alpha Lambda Delta,national honor society for the top ten     percent of freshman
  • Membership in Gamma Sigma     Epsilon, national honor society in chemistry
  • Participation in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Participation in the CMU Student Government Association for three     years, including two years as President and one year as its Religious Life     representative

Nathaniel Oliver, Victoria Award

Nathaniel Oliver graduated on Saturday with a degree in communication studies and a minor in English. This year's winner of the CMU Victoria Award, he is the son of Malcolm and Mary Oliver of Republic and a graduate of Republic R-III Senior High School.

The award is given in memory of Victoria Beecroft Cutter. It was established in 1979 by her late son Dr. Walter Cutter, CMU Class of 1928. The award is intended for the graduating senior who, in the opinions of faculty and students, best exemplifies the ideals and purposes of the college during the previous academic year.

Oliver's accomplishments at CMU include:

  • A high grade point average and membership on the Dean?s list six     times
  • Participation on the CMU men's golf team
  • Serving his fellow students as an English tutor
  • Member of the student newspaper The Collegian staff
  • Recipient of a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics'     Champion of Character Award
  • Involvement in The Navigators, a religious organization on the     CMU campus

Jessica Powell, Human Relations Award

Jessica Powell graduated on Saturday with a degree in early childhood education. She was named the recipient of CMU's Human Relations Award.

Powell is the daughter of Allen and Tauna Powell of Laclede. While at CMU, Powell's accomplishments and involvement included:

  • A high grade point average and membership on the Dean's List     seven times
  • One of only four CMU seniors who completed the University's     Honors Program
  • Involvement in The Navigators, a religious organization on the     CMU campus
  • Three years' participation in the CMU Student Government     Association
  • Three years' involvement in the CMU Conservatory Singers
  • Membership in Sigma Alpha Iota, international fraternity for     women in music
  • Membership in Students In Free Enterprise, an international     business organization now known as Enactus
  • Student membership in the Missouri State Teachers Association

The CMU Human Relations Award was first given in 1953. It was established by Mrs. Martha Smith Luck to honor the student "showing the most promise in human relations and human adjustment."

This prize is awarded annually to the student who "attempts to develop the ability to get along with others and work with others -- the ability to understand the other fellow, develop liaison techniques and this (pouring of oil on troubled waters) in the area of human relations and understanding."


Originally posted May 14, 2013


Posted July 16, 2013