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2021 Honors Day – Celebrating Waldorf Alumni, Donors and High Achieving Students

High Academic Honors students receiving awards presented by Dr. Mike Gaitlin, Faculty Chair

By Suyaishar Sebastian

Waldorf University and the Waldorf Lutheran College Foundation celebrated and honored Waldorf alumni, donors and high achieving students at the annual Honors Day event.

The Honors Day event kicked off with Chapel service at 10:30 a.m. at the Boman Fine Arts Center on Sept. 22 with faculty members, staff, students, alumni and donors as attendees.   

Honors Day is organized by the foundation in cooperation with the university to honor alumni who are donors and give those scholarships to campus ministry and alumni outreach while also honoring academic achieving students who have received scholarships or higher academic honors.

There was a total of 115 scholarships awarded by the Waldorf Lutheran College Foundation, 160 total student scholarship recipients and over 200,000 dollars awarded in scholarship funds at the 2021 Honors Day.   

Kale Norman, a sophomore Sports Management major and a recipient of the Faculty Recognition of Academic Excellence Award said that being awarded in front of everyone made him feel valued by the school, faculty and staff.

“I am surprised that it was me in the top of the class and was happy when I saw the email that I got the award,” said Norman. “It makes me want to get the award again and work harder in all aspects of the university.”

“I feel extremely honored to have received the award and recognition,” said Rakshya Thapa, a recipient of the Alpha Chi Sophomore Scholarship and Faculty Recognition of Academic Excellence award.

Teresa Nicholson, the Director of Institutional Relations at Waldorf, who works for both Waldorf University and Waldorf Lutheran College Foundation said that the purpose and goal of Honors Day is to make sure that the donors get recognition for everything that they do while recognizing academic achievement with the student body.

“All these donors who give these scholarships have a personal connection to Waldorf in some way and they have established these scholarships to honor loved ones or help students with their education,” Nicholson said. “The donors have given up their time and hard-earned money to continue funding these scholarships to students so that they would not have such an economic burden when they graduate.”

The students are selected by a selection committee which is comprised of faculty and staff. Any student is eligible, but they must either self-nominate or be nominated by a faculty or staff member.

The higher academic honors are nominated by staff and faculty and are usually the top students in each class.