Four Seniors Win Top Student Achievement Awards

May 14, 2024 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Four Elmhurst University seniors recently were honored with Founders Awards and the Senior of the Year award for their outstanding service and leadership. The awards are considered among the University’s top honors for individual achievement.

Founders Awards

The three Founders Awards, which are among the University’s oldest and most prestigious, recognize self-initiated service that brings about change and embodies humane values. One Founders Award is given for service to the campus community; the second is given for service to the greater society; and the third, the Cureton Award, is given for service to the global community. Members of the University community nominate the candidates.

  • Paul Sebedyn, a world language education and Spanish major from Aurora, Ill., received the Cureton Award for Service to the Global Community. Sebedyn was first violinist in the orchestra and was active in the Latino Student Association and International Student Association. He also was a Spanish tutor in the Learning Center and participated in Breaking Bread and Barriers, a civil rights cohort organized by the Niebuhr Center.
  • Payton Schmidt, a business administration and sport management major from West Dundee, Ill., received the Founders Award for Service to the Greater Society. Schmidt was captain of the women’s basketball team and represented her peers as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She was also an Honors Program Global Scholar and an active participant in academic honor societies such as Delta Mu Delta and Phi Kappa Phi.
  • Rachel Fratt, an art business major, received the Founders Award for Service to the University Community. A native of Las Vegas, Nev., Fratt was president of Art Club and head designer for Middle Western Voice and The Leader. She also was an RA and captain of the women’s golf team. In addition, she interned with the Elmhurst Art Museum and Compound Yellow gallery in Oak Park, Ill.

Senior Of The Year

The highly sought-after Senior of the Year award honors the senior who excels in academics and campus involvement, and is passionate about continuing the Elmhurst University tradition. Selected by a special committee of the Alumni Association, this year’s winner was psychology major Eaden Hvarre, of Dixon, Ill. Hvarre volunteers as a medical advocate for sexual assault survivors and aspires to reform the criminal justice system. On campus, she held leadership roles in various organizations, such as director of philanthropy for Alpha Phi Sorority and president of Panhellenic Council.

The winners were announced during the 2024 Student Leadership Awards, held earlier this month. A number of awards were given out during the ceremony, which celebrates campus leaders, organizations and initiatives that support student success and enhance the student experience. The awards highlight Elmhurst’s caring community, which provides students with the supportive experiences they need to excel as inclusive leaders.

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