Four of Northern Arizona University’s graduating seniors have been singled out to receive 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 on Tuesday night at the High Country Conference Center, where the four—Jennifer Baca, Kathleen Templin, Feng (Bruce) Wang and Michelle Wong—were among 45 students receiving the coveted Gold Axe Award for their achievements.
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. The gold axe pin is still considered the official emblem of the Associated Students of NAU and is presented 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 during the ceremony, six students were named as Distinguished Seniors by their college:
Not pictured: The College of Education’s Brenna Johnson, Elementary 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.