By Katie Ronske
One might believe that a student who serves as Student Senate president, works as building manager at Baker University Center and juggles a political science major in addition to minors in Spanish and sociology has reached the peak of academic achievement at Ohio University. But last night, senior Michael Adeyanju continued to amass credentials to an already impressive resume.
Adeyanju was among 42 student honorees at Wednesday's 26th annual Leadership Awards Gala. As one of nine seniors to receive the Outstanding Senior Leader award, his dedication has not gone unnoticed.
"Getting this award is truly an honor and is deeply appreciated," Adeyanju said. "The way faculty has helped myself and other students reach their full potential by the time they graduate is a great way that OU cultivates leaders."
Organized by the Division of Student Affairs, the gala set out to honor leaders in all facets of campus life. It did so by awarding honors in 11 categories, recognizing students and organizations for outstanding community service, academic achievement, senior leadership and more. A crowd of more than 400 attended the sold-out event.
Junior Matthew Denhart, junior economics and political science major and recipient of The Rudy Leadership Award for Outstanding Student Leadership, believes the event is two-fold. Not only does it honor the enormous dedication of Ohio University students, it also showcases the numerous opportunities available for student growth.
"In my time here at OU there have been so many opportunities to get involved with other students and faculty members that have enabled me to get where I am today," Denhart said. "Getting this award is certainly an honor and very humbling, especially because there were so many outstanding candidates. I am very happy and appreciative."
Ohio University President Roderick McDavis praised the award recipients for their commitment to making a difference and for inspiring excellence in other members of the university community.
"As a student leader your reward is personal satisfaction," he said. "Your success and incentive are not determined by monetary gain or greatness. You are leaders because you have a vision and aspiration to be an agent of change... We are so proud of you for giving your time and devoting yourself to the mission of this university."
Keynote speaker Eric Fingerhut, Ohio Board of Regents chancellor and former state senator, addressed the award winners via a live video feed, offering thanks for their service to Ohio University and to the entire state of Ohio. Fingerhut encouraged students to continue their education and leadership initiatives in order to become the future leaders of the state.
"The students that we are honoring tonight at Ohio University are the leaders of the future," he said. "You are the ones who will change our state and change our world for the better."
In addition to the awards, Kyle Triplett, freshman political science major, was named the new student representative on the Ohio University Board of Trustees.
"I look forward to representing students to the best of my ability as a member of the board," Triplett said. "I have had a great experience at OU thus far and want to be able to give back to the student community in any way that I can."
For a full list of this years winners, click here.