Menu

Four McMurry University seniors receive special recognition at 2015 Spring Commencement


  Gary Ellison
  Monday, May 11, 2015 1:48 PM
  Archives 2014 - 2015

Abilene, TX

Four McMurry University seniors received special recognition at the 2015 Spring Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 9.

Laney Abbott, a sociology major from El Paso, Texas, is the winner of the Harry Soladay Memorial Award.

Since 1957, the Harry Soladay Memorial Award has been given to an outstanding graduating senior, male or female, at McMurry University.  To qualify for this award the student must have demonstrated outstanding service to McMurry, must have actively been involved in religious life both on campus and in a local church, and must be employed in addition to their studies and activities.

During her time a McMurry, Ms. Abbott has been involved in Gamma Sigma women’s social club and the Religious Life Council. She served as the Prayer Ministry Team Coordinator, leading prayer initiatives for the McMurry Community. This year, she was the Spiritual Formation Executive Officer for the Religious Life Council and the recipient of the Donald A. Ward Award for outstanding service to Religious Life at McMurry.

Shelby Wattenbarger, a business administration/marketing major from North Richland Hills, Texas, is the winner of the Ginny Carlson Memorial Award.

The Ginny Carlson Memorial Award has been given to an outstanding senior woman at McMurry University since 1967.  The qualifications for this award are a grade point average of 3.0 or better, outstanding activity and leadership in the service of McMurry, and high religious, moral, and ethical behavior.

During her time at McMurry, Ms. Wattenbarger was involved in the McMurry Student Foundation, T.I.P. women’s social club, McMurry Student Government and the Shareholders Business Club. She served as an orientation leader, and played for the War Hawk soccer team.  She was the president of the Student Foundation and T.I.P. This year, she completed a marketing internship with the Office of Institutional Advancement and in this position created the Billy Cole III Memorial Endowed Scholarship.  She was also selected by the Business faculty to serve as a Business Student Advocate and she received the Business Excellence Award this spring. 

Casjen Rico, a business administration/finance major from Grapevine, Texas, is the winner of the W. Anthony Hunt Memorial Award.

The W. Anthony Hunt Memorial Award is given annually to an outstanding senior man at McMurry University.  The qualifications for this award are a grade point average of 3.0 or better, outstanding activity and leadership in the service of McMurry, and high religious, moral, and ethical behavior.

Rico is a member of the McMurry men’s tennis team, and has served as team captain. This year at the National Christian Colleges Athletic Association (NCCAA) nationals, he won the sportsmanship award as well as first team singles and doubles. He was Academic All American for the NCCAA in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 and was 1st team All- American in 2014-2015.

In addition to Rico’s outstanding athletic awards, he served as a member and officer of the Shareholders Business Club, was selected as a Business Student Advocate and participated in the Student Managed Investment Fund. He gained employment prior to graduation in the Credit Analyst Training Program at First Financial Bank, Abilene.

Crystal Watson, an Early Childhood Education major from Abilene, Texas, is the winner of the Don Allen Memorial Award.

The Don Allen Memorial Award is given to the outstanding non-traditional graduating senior, male or female, at McMurry University.  To qualify for this award the student must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher while working and maintaining a home and/or family.  The student must be of high ethical and moral character and have been a credit to McMurry University.

Ms. Watson is the first in her family to attend and graduate college and has overcome many challenges in her life including courageously surviving breast cancer at the age of 29 and enduring multiple injuries while in college.  She is a single mother and is dedicated to providing her son with the best, most fulfilling life possible. 

She is active in her church and involved in the Association of Texas Professional Educators. She is passionate about education, teaching, and working with children. 

Press Contact

Gary Ellison
gellison@mcm.edu
325-793-4610