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Senior of the Year Award

The Alumni Association of Elmhurst University created the Senior of the Year Award in 1992 as a way to honor the senior who typifies the Elmhurst University graduate.

Students of senior status are nominated through a process that includes a summary of activities on campus, an essay, and two letters of endorsement from members of the faculty, staff and administration. These nominations are reviewed by a committee of alumni volunteers and finalists are selected.

Finalists appear for an interview by an alumni panel and are critiqued based on three categories: scholastic aptitude, campus involvement, and his or her passion for continuing the Elmhurst University tradition. The award is presented to the student who most excels in all areas.

2022 Senior of the Year

Sonali Rajput

Sonali RajputSonali is a biochemistry major from Berkeley, Illinois. As a first-generation student, she entered college feeling significant pressure to succeed, and Elmhurst welcomed her with open arms. Sonali spent her four years at Elmhurst truly immersing herself in the campus experience. She got involved in the Union Board, serving as president the last two years, the Student Government Association, and is in the Honors Program. As a part of the Honors Program she comments, “I built my critical thinking skills as I took classes that enriched my interest in literature and urban studies, which helped me develop a sense of social responsibility.” While serving as an EC Connection and Bluejay First mentor, she helped other students build their network across campus and offered strategies for success based on her experiences, especially during the pandemic. Sonali inspires other first-generation students of color to pursue leadership roles, conduct research, and reach their potential across campus.

  • Michelle Buttita
  • Evan Caverly
  • Abby Daniels
  • Alyssa De Jesus
  • Michelle Diaz
  • Kween Jean
  • Michael Lyskawka
  • Lauryn Wesoloski
  • 2021: Amanda O’Brien
  • 2020: Alexandria Schultz
  • 2019: Riley Schweig
  • 2018: Esther Pereira
  • 2017: Erik Maranto
  • 2016: Tyler Espino
  • 2015:  Meredithe Mimlitz
  • 2014: Marissa McLean
  • 2013: Uchenna Ebiringah
  • 2012: Jacob Meding
  • 2011: Genesis Jelkes
  • 2010: Elizabeth Harland
  • 2009: Melissa Steirer
  • 2008: Alexander Kefaloukos
  • 2007: Brian Slackert
  • 2006: Dain Gotto
  • 2005: Isabel Bauer
  • 2004: Joud Abdel Majeid
  • 2003: Kelly VanGuilder
  • 2002: Christopher Speil
  • 2001: Angela Gianforte
  • 2000: Analy Ponce
  • 1999: Anastasia Buriegi
  • 1998: Amy Ferraro
  • 1997: Herb Washington Jr.
  • 1996: John Barr
  • 1995: Gretchen Gehrlein
  • 1994: Stephanie Nawyn
  • 1993: Eric Lindberg

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