Hiram’s annual Celebration of Excellence commemorates the academic achievements of our students, their service to the College, and dedication to the larger community. The accomplishments recognized encompass every part of campus life and signify the positive and lasting impact these students have made on the College.  

Please find below a description of each award and the 2023 recipients.  

President’s Achievement Award  

The President’s Achievement Award is given annually to two students in the junior class whose academic records, campus leadership and devotion to the ideals and objectives of Hiram College distinguish their performances as outstanding. Students selected for this award have demonstrated, during their years at Hiram College, marked growth in academic achievement and in personal development. They have displayed sensitivity to the needs of their fellow students, to those in the College community and of society in general, and they have made constructive contributions to the solutions of these problems. In sum, the President’s Achievement Award goes to those whose records best symbolize the educational goals of Hiram College.

2023 Recipients: Morgan Rekstis and Mackenzie Flaherty

Morgan Rekstis is a junior from Canton, Ohio, and is an integrative exercise science major. She is a student leader who has served as a Resident Assistant, tutor for Anatomy and Physiology I and II and Statistics, treasurer of the IES Club, secretary and soon-to-be president of CRUSH, as well as the treasurer and coach of the Women’s Lacrosse Club.

Mackenzie Flaherty is a junior from Mentor, Ohio and is a political science major with minors in crime, law and justice & sociology. She has served as the Vice President of Activities for Student Senate and was recently elected as President of the Student Senate. Additionally, Mackenzie has served in the role of student ambassador, orientation leader, and peer mentor.

Distinguished Student Leadership Award-Dively  

The Distinguished Student Leadership Award is given annually by Hiram College in recognition of an outstanding senior student whose contributions to campus life have earned peer respect and admiration. The award recipient receives a gift of $1,000. Michael Dively, a former Hiram College Trustee, founder of the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy and Service, three-term member of the Michigan House of Representatives and former faculty member at Albion College, is the founder of the award.

2023 Recipients: Haley Thompson

Haley Thompson is an integrative exercise science major from Elkridge, Maryland. After coming to Hiram to continue her high school basketball career, she spent three years as a Resident Assistant, with two of those years as Head RA.

Hal Reichle Memorial Award  

The Hal Reichle Memorial Award is presented annually to an individual student who has demonstrated significant acts of kindness, generosity and compassion toward other human beings. The award recipient is chosen on the basis of humanitarian efforts, community involvement and volunteerism. The value of the Hal Reichle Memorial Award is based on investment returns and typically exceeds $5,000.

2023 Recipient: Jared LaPointe

Jared LaPointe is an educational studies major and communications minor and intends on earning a master’s degree in student affairs and higher education at Miami University. Jared has participated in leadership on campus by serving as an orientation leader, serving as a Resident Assistant, serving as the Treasurer of PRYSM, and serving as the Vice President and President of the Education Club.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award  

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award is given annually by Hiram College to a student or students who, through the quality of his or her leadership and overall character, exemplifies a spirit of inclusiveness and an appreciation for multiculturalism and diversity. The value of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award is based on investment returns and typically exceeds $500.

2023 Recipient: Maya Henry

Maya Henry is a business management major from East Cleveland, OH. She has been a member of Student Senate and President of the Black Student Union and recently helped establish Hiram’s AmeriCorps Student Resource Center.

Yuksel Ismail Scholarship in Humanities  

Established in 1986 by the Ismail family, colleagues, friends and former students, the Yuksel Ismail Scholarship honors the senior in humanities (humanities shall include classical studies, English, foreign languages, history, philosophy and religious studies) who best exemplifies the love of learning and high standards lived out at Hiram College by Yuksel Ismail, professor of languages and literature, until his death in 1986.

2023 Recipient: Kerry Hamilton

Kerry Hamilton is an English major and has dedicated much of her curiosity to filmmaking, theater, history, philosophy, and the classics. This scholarship is “awarded to honor the senior student in the Humanities who best exemplifies the love of learning and high standards lived out at Hiram College by Yuksel Ismail, Professor of Languages and Literature.”

Phi Beta Kappa  

Phi Beta Kappa membership has long been recognized as the highest distinction an individual can receive for scholarly excellence in undergraduate studies in the liberal arts and sciences. Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest undergraduate honors society. The official induction ceremony into Phi Beta Kappa takes place during the week of commencement.

2023 Recipients: Madison M. Buckles, Emma R. Cromwell, and Rafah Hussain

Alpha Society

Alpha Society is one of Hiram’s highest academic honors. Membership is limited to students who have completed 12 or more hours of graded coursework at Hiram College and whose cumulative grade point average is 3.75 or better.

Alpha Society Graduating Seniors
Colton AllenLaura Alspaugh
Logan BaileyMarisa Bolton
Allison BucklesMadison Buckles
Mason CebullaEmma Cromwell
Sydney Finley-HoustonJulia Frank
Meghan GriffinPatricia Harness
Lauren HildumRafah Hussain
Elizabeth JaberVictoria Jackson
Lyndsey JohnsCarlene Kopp
Andrew KuchJames Lane
Alyssa MaraiaCamdyn Miller
Daphney MillerWilliam Muirhead
Julie NalowJenelle Nemire
Andrew PembertonDennis Pranjic
Kellie RistauGerald Saunders
David SchmeiderKatherine Starr
Taylor ValaitisVictoria Valetta
Dana VetranoLinda Wasil
Maggie Yarcusko
Alpha Society Underclassmen
Maxwell AlexanderMahmood Al-OmeriEmma Bago
Dylan BalikerEthan BarnesKearan Barnett
Dylan BaumgardnerJared BillerMadeline Billock
Alison BredekErin BurkeAllydia Byard
Logan Cabrera-RosalesKayla CampbellLisha Ciani
Rebecca CottermanCarly DeMilleMeghan Falkowski
Lauren FelvusJacob FergisHeidi Fife
Brooke FishbackMackenzie FlahertyHalley Fritz
Isabella GaleckiLogan GallentineKaitlyn Goldan
Holly GrableAidan GriffinChelsea Hixon
Kelly HoffmanSkyler HudaSamantha Humphrey
Jonathan HybilBrett JohnsonCamden Kane
Catlyn KauffmanJoshua KesterJason King
Craig KoonJacob KowalJulianna-Marie LeQuay
Andrew MaddenJoslyn MarionValerie Martin
Kyle MartiniDrew MasonMarciano McCowan
Trisha MillerAidan MoneypennyJade Mongold
Annabelle MooreJillian MooreMackenzie Morrison
Megan MoserAmanda MurpheyBrooke Norris
Aurora NunneryKieran PellinSarah Peshko
Angel PetersonTayleigh PriceBryce Pruszynski
Sadie QuallsAllison RedmanHunter Reich
Madison ReikowskiMorgan RekstisMineko Roach
Rafael RodriguezHenry RoethAngelina Ross
Yue SasakiAbriana SchwartzAlivia Selander
Grace SpehnSydney SpitlerMarissa Steidel
Jane SterlingRyan StreatorHallie Talbot
Stephenie TravisBriana TroyanJillian Turcola
Emily TurkBrandon TurnerKatelin Tuttle
Carisa VollmanBailey WilhiteKatey Wohlers
Bo Wen Ivan YangReece ZeiglerKarissa Zelenak
Jacob Zimmerman

By Elyse Pitkin