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.
Jessalyn Carpino, Dennis Kan, Mary Zuniga and Andrew Sarracino, pictured right, were singled out among 45 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, six students were named as Distinguished Seniors by their college. Pictured at right are marketing, finance and management major Pascal K. Tang for The W.A. Franke College of Busines; mechanical engineering major Adam Yoder for the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences; advertising major Chelsea Bednarz for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; elementary education major Damon McHenry for the College of Education; dental hygiene major Laurel George Hargis for the College of Health and Human Services; and Hayley Fenton, English, political science and history major for the College of Arts and Letters.
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 and Rene Munoz.