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Elon University / Today at Elon / Black excellence in the spotlight at 29th annual Phillips-Perry Awards

Outstanding Elon students were recognized for their achievements and contributions to Elon on April 23.

Outstanding students along with distinguished faculty and staff members were recognized April 23 at the 29th annual Phillips-Perry Black Excellence Awards.

The ceremony included opening remarks from President Connie Ledoux Book, who was introduced by Simone Royal, assistant director of the Center for Race, Ethnicity & Diversity Education.

Elon University / Today at Elon / Black excellence in the spotlight at 29th annual Phillips-Perry Awards
Keith Davis ’01 announces the Maroon Awardees during the 19th Annual Phillips-Perry Black Excellence Awards on Saturday 23, 2022.

Several Elon black alumni were among those presenting awards, including Keith Davis ’01, James Carter III ’10, Chandler Vaughan ’21 and Eden Esters Brown ’07. Ruby Thornton Bracy ’99 presented the Elon Black Alumni Network Scholarship Award to Christina Carr ’23 and Associate Professor Buffie Longmire-Avital, director of the Black Lumen Project, presented the African & African American Studies at Elon Award to Austin Moore ’22. The ceremony concluded with a charge to students by Madison Holmes ’22 and a vocal performance by Melanated Melodies, with students in Elon’s Music Theatre program offering a performance earlier in the program.

University Chaplain Kirstin Boswell speaks during the awards ceremony.

​Established in 1993, the mission of the Black Excellence Awards Banquet is to recognize, celebrate and affirm the presence of Black students at Elon University. Approved by the Elon University Board of Trustees, the annual Black Excellence Awards Banquet was named on April 22, 2006, to honor former Elon students Glenda Phillips Hightower, the first Black student to attend Elon (in 1963), and Eugene Perry, the first Black student to graduate from Elon (in 1969).

Academic Excellence Awards

Students enrolled at Elon University as full-time undergraduate students with a minimum of 12 semester hours of academic course work and a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher during the Fall Semester are eligible for this award.

Highest GPA by Class

  • Class of 2025 (five-way tie): Jade May, Sean Mikesh, Jada Moody, Francesca Mitchell, Donelle Leak
  • Class of 2024: Maya Simmons
  • Class of 2023 (two-way tie): Jay Blue, Dani Toma-Harrold
  • Class of 2022: Samantha Dominguez

Phoenix Award (GPA 3.8 – 4.0)

Sedric Beulah
Jalen Blue
Jahmai Bruce
Spencer Buehlman
Malcolm Capers
Joshua Cole
Alyvia Cooke
Samantha Dominguez
Mikayla Ford
Madeline Foster
Amaya Gaines
Nia Griffin
Anne Sophie Hill
Anelisa Holder
Kiara Hunter
Donelle Leak
Jade May
Hunter McIntosh
Kara McKinley
Sean Mikesh
Francesca Mitchell
Jada Moody
Jasper Serenity Myers
Makayla Oby
Mya Osborne
Cassidy Perry
Chelsea Pitcher
Daija Rion
Iyanna Robinson
Nicholas Rugbart
Shannon Seignious
Amaya Sheffield
Maya Simmons
Kayla Spalding
Sarah Talley
Renell Taylor
Jeremiah Timberlake
Danielle Toma-Harrold
Raea Tyson
Naomi Washington
Giselle Watts
Briston Whitt
Corinne Williams
Morgan Williams
Cedar Zobel-Williams

Gold Award (GPA 3.5-3.79)

Aniyah Adams
Jaelyn Alexander
Kaliah Alford
Alexis Alston
Keri Anderson
Chase Augustus
Aliya Barrows
Akani Bey
Eileena Boyce
Keiarra Bray
Nyah Britt
Jasmyn Brown
Patrick Brundidge
Samantha Cabbell
Gloria Cadet
Jazmin Campbell
Lauryn Carlton
Christina Carr
A’Shaela Chaires
Heeba Chergui
Alicia Clanton
Lauryn Clarke
Victoria Colbeck
Hillary Collins
Demya Culp
Zeth Dixon
Camille Duplechain
Danielle Dyer
Tamara Evans
Donovan Everette
Ellery Ewell
Izaiah Ezji-Miles
Ciani Foy
Chloe Franklin
Hallie Gardham
Matisse Gilmore
Ineaa Gray
Moriah Griffin
Camryn Harris
Madison Holmes
Camryn Houston
Hannah Hubbard
Harrison Hunter
Leila Jackson
Kayla Jacobs
Milanne Jones
Amillion Kearse
Eukela Little
Maya Loehr
Destinie Lovgren
Delyla Makki
Kaitlin McGoogan
Tyler McKellar
Chandler McKelvey
Jovani Mendez-Sandoval
Nicholas Mesrobian
Zion Middleton
Ivy Montague
Victoria Moore
Austin Moore
Khairi Morrow
Sarah Mouton
Darian Myers
Michaela Neal
Rebecca Oliver
Sarah Parks
Erin Poole
Sarah Poselle
Jaelan Price
Sydnie Rogers
Nyjah Rollins
Sebastian Schroeter
Aniya Scott
Leah Short
Michaela Singletary
Amani Smalls
Jasmine Smith
Miracle Smythe
Christina Stafford
Trinity Swepson
Vanessa Taylor
Grayson Thompson
Genesis Tolbert
Tyja Traore
Fabienne Van Rijssen
Debryah Washington
Kelsy Williams
Ariana Wilson
Mia Wilson
Jordan Young

Maroon Award (GPA 3.2-3.49)

Angy Aguilar
Kameron Askew
Sydney Austin
Ashleigh Azan
Allyson Baffoe-Bonnie
Dejour Banks
Aulani Barnes
Kendall Battles
Nyla Belton
Joycelyn Bentley
Julian Boddie
Amelia Broderick
Sydni Brown
Kayla Brunson
Jasmine Bryant
Julian Bumper
Senami Cadmus
Alexis Cooper
Rachael Curington
Caleb Curtain
Robert Dalton
Dahvon Davis
Joel Davis
Kamryn Doty
Kendall Dowdie
Jay Duncan
James Eaton
Ryan Elad
Monique Fogg
Travis Foust
Brandon Fowlin
Ethan Gabriel
Sarah Gaynor
Nyles Geiger
Victoria Getter
Hannah Gneco
India Goode
Mike Graham
Lindsay Gray
Bethany Griffin
Quirah Hamilton
Chazz Harley
Hana Hawthorne
Jordan Haywood
Solomon Height
Brittney Hope
Angel Howard
Jenny Howard
Ashley Irby
Jamiliyah Ismaiel
Kaden Jennings
Cierra Johnson
Taylor Jones
Nadia Lawyer
Kayla Liles
Marcinah Lovick
Mahogany Madden-Roberts
Hannah Malvone
Caleb Martin
Jayla Martin-Beasley
Juliana Maurice
Nina McDow
Michael Mesrobian
Mason Mosley
Caleb Ogunmola
Sydney Randolph
Candace Rhodes
Shields Riggs
Mari’ Robinson
Karissa Ruiz
Taylor Russ
Kendall Saulsby
Ainsley Shan
Denise Simmons
Zoe Simmons
Kaitlyn Smith
Sarina Smith
Imani Spence
Caitlin Strickland
Jahmai Sylvestre
Danielle Thomas
Dylan Tucker
Julian Valderrama
Khaaliq Van-Otoo
Marques Walker
James Watts
Kortiney White
Paige Wilson
Rohan Wilson
Alyssa Wise
Imonni Withers
TJ Young

Elon Experiences Awards

These students were nominated by faculty and staff members of Elon University as students who excelled in one or more of the five Elon Experiences: Global Engagement, Undergraduate Research, Internships, Service and Civic Engagement, and Leadership.

Excellence in Global Engagement

Excellence in Undergraduate Research

  • Eukela Little and Aniyah Adams

Excellence in Internships

  • Undergraduate: Caitlin Strickland
  • Graduate: Brianna Torres (Master’s of Higher Education)

Excellence in Academic Service Learning

Excellence in Leadership

  • Undergraduate: A’Shaela Chaires and Queen Assata Stephens
  • Graduate: Jordan Patterson (Doctor of Physical Therapy), Chanece Bigelow (Master’s of Higher Education) and Emmanuel Agyemang-Dua (Elon Law)

The Wilhelmina Boyd African & African American Studies at Elon Award

The Wilhelmina Boyd AAASE Scholar Award was created in the Spring of 2008 to honor the work and contributions of Professor Wilhelmina Boyd’s 18 years of service to Elon University and African & African-American Studies. The recipient of the award must be a graduating senior with a minor in African & African-American Studies, with a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a minimum GPA in the minor of 3.2. In addition, the recipient must demonstrate a commitment to African & African-American Studies as demonstrated through coursework, citizenship/community engagement, scholarship, and student activities/leadership.

Wilhelmina Boyd AAASE Scholar Award Recipient

Elon Black Alumni Network Scholarship Award

The Elon Black Alumni Network (EBAN) strives to unite and represent the interests of Elon University’s Black alumni and students and promote active participation of its members. EBAN also seeks to promote the Black presence on campus and sustain the general alumni contributions to the university. Intended to help make an Elon education available to Black students, EBAN established a scholarship fund in 2007. To date, alumni and friends have donated more than $250,000 to the EBAN scholarship, which has partially funded the educational endeavors of five deserving Black students at Elon University.

Elon Black Alumni Network Scholarship Recipient

The Phillips-Perry Black Excellence Awards Celebration is presented by Elon’s Center for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity Education (CREDE). The planning committee includes:

  • Carolyn Ent, Director of Events, Office of the President
  • Robert Johnson, Director of Event and Space Management
  • Laké Laosebikan-Buggs, Director of Inclusive Excellence for Graduate and Professional Education
  • Sylvia Muñoz, Assistant Dean of Students and Director, Center for Race, Ethnicity, & Diversity Education
  • Simone Royal, Assistant Director, Center for Race, Ethnicity, & Diversity Education
  • Marilyn Slade, Program Assistant, Center for Race, Ethnicity, & Diversity Education
  • Anita Smith, Director of Counseling Services
  • Deidra Smith, Director of Alumni Engagement
  • Michael Williams, Director of Moseley Center

The 2021 Elon Experiences Awards Committee includes:

  • Meredith Allison, Professor of Psychology and Director of Undergraduate Research
  • Melanie Bullock, Director of the Center for Leadership
  • Bob Frigo, Associate Dean of Campus Life and Director of the Kernodle Center for Civic Life
  • Robin Kazmarek, Director of Internships, Elon College, The College of Arts and Sciences
  • Sylvia Muñoz, Assistant Dean of Students and Director, Center for Race, Ethnicity, & Diversity Education
  • Rhonda Waller, Executive Director of Global Engagement

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