The University of Richmond Alumni Association and the Westhampton College Dean’s Office co-hosted the annual Westhampton College Senior Celebration Night at the Jepson Alumni Center this Tuesday.
Kerry Fankhauser, associate dean of Westhampton College, said more than 200 women from the class of 2014 attended the event, which included a wine reception, dinner and an award ceremony, when four different awards were given out to recognize leadership and service to the university. The awards included the Clara Keith Award for outstanding work with the Westhampton College Government Association, the Leslie S. Booker Award for service to the campus community, the Unsung Hero award for the student who deserves more recognition and the Westhampton College Distinguished Leader Award, voted on by all Westhampton College students.
Mali Kobelja received the Booker Award, Mimi Mudd received the Keith Award and Sara Krauss received the Unsung Hero Award. The Distinguished Leadership Awards were given to 14 people in the form of a medal to wear at graduation, Fankhauser said. The winners were as follows: Charlotte Boliver, Rachel Brown, Caroline Chandler, Meredith Combs, Colleen Connolly, Miki Doan, Mary Hampton Elam, Erin Goupill, Meredith Hawkins, Lindsay Hudson, Celia Landesberg, Mimi Mudd, Mariah Williams and Lyneisha Wright.
Beyond the awards ceremony, Fankhauser said the night has some broader goals as well.
“I think the event is to obviously celebrate the college and the women’s accomplishments during their time at the university,” Fankhauser said. Friendship and the transition to being alumnae were also key themes of the celebration, she said.
Katherine Brennan and Rebecca Kelly, two seniors who attended the event, both said they enjoyed the night and the opportunity it provided for them to reflect.
“The event was definitely a lot of fun,” Kelly said. “I enjoyed listening to the speeches and watching the awards ceremony. Sitting next to my best friend also helped make the event special. We have shared so many moments together, and this event helped reinforce the idea that we will be friends forever.”
Brennan said the celebration gave her the opportunity to reconnect with some of the members of her class who she had lost touch with through the years, and was also a time to look back on moments with some she was closer to.
“My favorite part of the night was definitely looking back on my years spent at the University of Richmond,” Brennan said. “Tonight made me immensely grateful for the opportunities and the friendships that I’ve been able to cultivate during my time here. I’m definitely sad to be leaving Richmond behind come May, but I know that my time here has been well spent and will serve me well in the future.”
Richmond College will host an event to honor graduating seniors as well, also featuring awards, dinner and guest speakers, in the Jepson Alumni Center on April 8.