Valdez selected senior speaker, numerous student-athletes earn honors at commencement

Valdez selected senior speaker, numerous student-athletes earn honors at commencement

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Lewis & Clark College graduates, including over 50 student-athletes, were honored at the 144th Annual Commencement Ceremony last Saturday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

In addition to being one of about 20 Pioneers student-athletes to receive recognition at the Lewis & Clark College Honors Convocation on May 5, women's golf senior Arielle Valdez was selected as the senior speaker for the ceremony. She delivered an eight-minute speech in front of the parents, alumni, faculty, staff and others on hand for the event.

"I want to tell my fellow graduates that I am truly honored and humbled to be representing our class," said Valdez in an interview on the Lewis & Clark College website prior to the ceremony. "Secondly, I hope to convey that I am so impressed with all the work we have done in the past four years and that I want them to continue pursuing their passions beyond college."

Valdez was a finalist for the Paul Barney Prize for Contribution to Campus Life, which Sarah Bucknovitz of women's track and field received during the honors convocation. Alex Jones of men's basketball and Deja Nicholas of women's basketball were also finalists.

Watch the 144th Annual Lewis & Clark College Commencement Ceremony | Jump to Arielle Valdez's speech

Hannah Smay of women's swimming earned departmental honors in both English and Environmental Studies. She was also an initiate for Phi Beta Kappa and an American Association of University Women Award nominee.

Bridgette Henningsen of volleyball, Rachel Stone of women's track and field and Blake Slattengren of men's cross country and track and field were initiated into Phi Beta Kappa as well. Henningsen was also an initiate for Psi Chi National Psychology Honor Society.

Mackenzie Cornell-Maier of women's soccer and David Lovitz of men's track and field were initiated into the Pi Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Honor Society.

Kori Groenveld of women's cross country was a finalist for the Harry S. Truman Foundation Scholarship.

Numerous student-athletes earned recognition from the Biology department, including Jones who received the Biology Prize. Drew Groshong, who earned the Dell Smith Scholar-Athlete of the Year award at the 2017 Excellence in Lewis & Clark's Year of Sports ceremony in April, was a nominee for the Rena J. Ratte Award and earned departmental honors. Ina Waring-Enriquez was recognized as the 2015 recipient of the Kent Philip Swanson Jr. Memorial Scholarship. Additionally, Waring-Enriquez was a winner of a National Fellowship and Scholarship.

Rowan Gannon of men's swimming and Ryan Nguyen of men's cross country were added to the Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Society of Fellows. Stone was added in 2015-16.

Lewis & Clark's other ELCYS winners were acknowledged during the honors convocation. Noah Avery and Ayisat Afolabi were the Joe Huston Male and Lois Smithwick Female Athlete of the Year, respectively, while Frances Swanson received the Judy McMullen Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. Akira Abderrahman of baseball was the ChamPIOns Peer Award recipient. All but Avery are seniors.

All of Lewis & Clark's senior student-athletes received letters and honor cords at the 2017 ELCYS.


144th Lewis & Clark College Commencement Ceremony