Top Honors To CMU Trio

Kellner, Shroyer, Utley honored at Commencement

Commencement at Central Methodist University this past Saturday (May 10) was a special day for the more than 300 students who were honored. But for Aubrey Utley, Rebecca Shroyer and Kate Kellner, it was even more rewarding than anticipated.


Each year CMU presents special awards to three graduating seniors. The identities of the recipients, nominated by CMU faculty and staff, were a closely guarded secret until announced by CMU President Roger Drake during Commencement ceremonies in E.P. Puckett Field House.


Utley was presented with the Selecman Achievement Award, Shroyer the Human Relations Award, and Kellner the Victoria Award.


Aubrey Utley, Selecman Award

Considered the most prestigious award given to a CMU graduating senior is the Selecman Achievement Award. It was established in 1957 by the late Bishop Charles C. Selecman, a former student at Central Methodist University and a Bishop in the United Methodist Church.


He directed that the award be presented to the student who has displayed the following characteristics to an extraordinary degree: good citizenship on the campus, scholarship, religious leadership, moral and spiritual qualities, and outstanding achievement. 


Utley is perhaps most widely known as a record-setting and All-American pitcher on CMU’s nationally-rated softball team. But the biology major and chemistry minor from Trenton shines as brightly in the classroom and science laboratory. She graduated summa cum laude Saturday, requiring a grade point average of 3.95 or above on CMU’s 4.0 grading scale.


Utley is a perennial member of the CMU Dean’s List, recipient of the Gamma Sigma Epsilon Excellence in Organic Chemistry Award, recipient of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Physiology Award, and a tutor. She recently received CMU’s Darla Pannier Award as the outstanding female athlete.


Rebecca Shroyer, Human Relations Award

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.”


Shroyer graduated Saturday with a degree in music education. The Boonville native has been a standout in CMU’s highly-regarding music program, both vocal and instrumental. She appeared regularly on the Dean’s List, received the Nancy Thompson Jones Gem Award, and the National Association of Teachers of Music Award.


She was a member of Sigma Alpha Iota music honor society, a member of Alpha Phi Omega, and was active in marching band, Conservatory Singers, opera workshop, chorale, and concert band. Shroyer graduated magna cum laude Saturday, requiring a grade point average of 3.8 or above on CMU’s 4.0 grading scale.


Kate Kellner, Victoria Award


CMU’s Victoria Award is given annually to a graduating student who in the opinion of the faculty and students best exemplifies the ideals and purposes of Central Methodist University. 


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.


Kellner, who graduated Saturday with a bachelor’s degree with a double major in English and theatre arts, is widely known on campus for her involvement in the CMU theatre program, where she excelled both on the stage and behind the scenes.


Kellner received CMU’s Hadfield Award for Poetry, is a member of Alpha Gamma Psi, and was a student Ambassador for the CMU Admission Office. She graduated magna cum laude Saturday, requiring a grade point average of 3.8 or above on CMU’s 4.0 grading scale


Kellner is from Strafford.


Posted May 12, 2014