Lumberjack pride was worth its weight in gold at a reception Tuesday night where dozens of graduating seniors were recognized for their contributions to Northern Arizona University.
Bret Clawson, Brianna Gomez, Nicole Malumphy and Blaise Caudill, pictured at right, were singled out among the 43 students receiving the coveted Gold Axe Award for their achievements. The four 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, seven students were named as Distinguished Seniors by their college.
Pictured at right are psychology major Morgan Grundy for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; elementary education major Hannah Heivilin for the College of Education; Chemistry and Art History major Renée Rideout for the College of Arts and Letters; health sciences major Rebecca Scranton for the College of Health and Human Services; and Deanie Wingfield for University College. Not pictured are accounting and marketing major Jose Diaz for The W.A. Franke College of Business and forestry major Katelynn Jenkins for the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences.
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 Preston Trauscht.