Dozens of graduating seniors shone brightly at a reception Wednesday night where they were recognized for their contributions to Northern Arizona University.
Tereas Bermensolo-Cutler and Kristofer Lyons were singled out among 23 students receiving the coveted Gold Axe Award for their achievements. The two received the prestigious President’s Prize for their exemplary leadership, academic excellence and service to the NAU community.
The awards were announced at the Gold Axe and Distinguished Senior awards banquet at the High Country Conference Center.
The tradition of the Gold Axe Award dates back to 1933, a year after the student body adopted the axe as the symbol for Lumberjack athletics. It was then that NAU adopted the tradition of awarding small gold axe pins to outstanding members of the student body. To this day, the gold axe pin is considered the official emblem of the Associated Students of NAU and is presented each semester to recognize students’ outstanding achievement and distinguished service to the university and the greater community.
Students selected for a Gold Axe Award also are eligible for the President’s Prize, considered the highest student recognition from the university. After reviewing all the Gold Axe nominations, a universitywide committee makes its recommendations to President John Haeger, who then selects the President’s Prize winners.
Also at the reception, six students were named as Distinguished Seniors by their college. Pictured at right are mathematics major Natalie Coston for the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences; secondary French education major Matteo Musumeci for the College of Arts and Letters; sociology and psychology major Erika Bielenstein for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; nursing major Candance Mabbitt for the College of Health and Human Services; and business economics and management major Tereas Bermensolo-Cutler for The W.A. Franke College of Business. Not pictured is elementary and special education major Lily Bezale for the College of Education
Below are this year’s Gold Axe Award winners, along with the NAU faculty or staff member the students named as having the most significant impact on them during their undergraduate career.