COLUMBIA – The recipients of the 2011 Mizzou ’39 awards were honored at a banquet Saturday.
The students come from seven different colleges within MU. Twenty-two students are from Missouri, and 18 are journalism students.
Carrie Bien, coordinator of student programs for the Mizzou Alumni Association, said the recipients come from diverse student and academic experiences. She said they are well-rounded, high-achieving student leaders.
“They run the gambit of some of the most outstanding students at Mizzou,” she said.
The students were selected for their service and leadership at MU and in Columbia, according to the Mizzou Alumni Association web site.
The Mizzou '39 program was created in 2005 by the Alumni Association Student Board. Each year, 39 students are given the award to represent the founding of MU in 1839. The alumni association hopes that the students selected will continue their relationships with MU after they graduate, Bien said.
The students and their mentors were honored at a banquet Saturday. The students, mentors and families were welcomed by Jim Spain, the vice provost for undergraduate students, and Todd McCubbin, the executive director of the alumni association.
Students and mentors were recognized on stage, and the students received Mizzou '39 lapel pins. The Alumni Student Board President Zach Parolin gave a speech to end the banquet.
“This is one of the few times these mentors are recognized with their students,” Bien said.
The students appreciated the opportunity to honor their mentors and let them meet their families.
“My mentor is a wonderful person, and she doesn’t get recognized enough,” said Kaitlyn Steis, a education major and award recipient.
Earlier in the week, the students were announced during halftime at the men’s basketball game against Texas Tech.
“That was a really amazing experience," said Forrest Meyen, an engineering major and award recipient. "Everything looks so much different when you’re on the court.”
The official Mizzou ’39 Class of 2011 was announced at a candlelight ceremony held at the Reynolds Alumni Center.
More than 165 students applied for the award in December, and the Alumni Association Student Board narrowed down the list to the 39 top students.
"I was really excited and surprised," said Elizabeth Reed, a journalism major. "It kind of blew my mind that out of all the people they interviewed, they picked me."
Meyen, Steis and Reed agreed that the award inspired them to continue to work hard toward their goals.
“It was a personal challenge for me,” Meyen said. “It’s motivation to continue to do my best.”