Lumberjack pride was worth its weight in gold at a reception Wednesday night where dozens of graduating seniors were recognized for their contributions to Northern Arizona University.
Missy Hoffman, Francisco Naranjo Jr. and Sarah Tang, pictured at right, were singled out among 19 students receiving the coveted Gold Axe Award for their achievements. The three also 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 Seniors 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 achievements 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 journalism/ merchandising major Alexa DuMity for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; art education major Jessalyn Carpino for the College of Arts and Letters; hotel and restaurant management/accountancy major Allison Wiltfong for The W.A. Franke College of Business; early childhood education major Marisa Wong Byrnes for the College of Education; and geology major Sarah Bremmer for the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences. Not pictured is public health major Martina Guy for the College of Health and Human Services.
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.
Photos by Bianca Gonzalez, Rene Munoz and David Slipher.