Students Honored for Commitment to Service and Academics


Pictured from left to right are Dr. Dennis Carroll, HPU Provost; Ariel Hodges, recipient of the University Award for Citizenship; Michael Esposito, recipient of the University Award for Service; Haley McKeown, recipient of the University Award for Leadership; and Gail Tuttle, Senior Vice President for Student Life. Not pictured is Jenny Marshall, recipient of the University Award for Achievement. 

HIGH POINT, N.C., April 19, 2017 – At the end of each year, the HPU community comes together to honor the academic and professional achievements of students. An array of awards highlighting impressive research, community service and positive impact made on campus are presented. Four top awards are also given to standout students who have emerged as leaders. This year’s recipients are:

The University Award for Achievement: Jenny Marshall from Ijamsville, Maryland

Marshall is a senior chemistry major and member of the women’s soccer team. She has excelled on the field, in the classroom and devoted many hours of service to the community. In her academic career, she has focused on an organic synthesis project and was voted by faculty as the departmental Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher. Marshall has also worked three summers at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, in one of the premier laboratories in the world which performs cancer research.

She has contributed to the surrounding community in many ways by volunteering at the Miracle League Field, the Oakview Recreation Center, at a local retirement community and as an assistant soccer coach.

The University Award for Citizenship: Ariel Hodges from Concord, North Carolina

Hodges, a senior psychology major, was once a quiet, unassuming freshman who has since emerged as a leader on campus. On campus, she has served as a student justice and hearing chair of the Student Judicial Board through the Student Government Association. She assisted hundreds of freshmen in their transition to college life by serving as a Peer Mentor for three years, and she is a member of the Campus Concierge team.

She has also served on the city of High Point’s Millennial Task Force to encourage fellow Millennials to become more involved in their community. She aspires to launch a career in the human resources field.

The University Award for Leadership: Haley McKeown from Raleigh, North Carolina

McKeown was elected 2017 Class President shortly after arriving to campus and has served her fellow students every year since. She has helped organize dozens of events throughout the years, including Stop Hunger Now events that allow the HPU family to pack thousands of meals in a few short hours to send to families in need; Cuts for Cancer, which assists cancer patients in receiving wigs made from real hair; and events that brought the Guilford County Animal Shelter pets to campus to receive attention and care from students.

She is a member of Kappa Delta sorority and a university ambassador who provides tours to prospective students and their families. As a Peer Mentor, she has assists freshmen as they transition to college life, and as a Career Peer Ambassador, she assists students as they search for internships and job opportunities.

She graduates in May with a Bachelor of Arts in communication, a concentration in journalism and a minor in sports management.

The University Award for Service: Michael Esposito from Green Oaks, Illinois

A senior business administration major and founding member of Kappa Alpha fraternity, Esposito and his brothers have raised more than $52,000 for disabled veterans and The Independence Fund. Their efforts have been spotlighted by national news shows such as Fox and Friends.

Esposito has also served in leadership roles on campus through the University Volunteer Center and the Student Alumni Council. He is a Peer Mentor who offers support and guidance to first-year students and was named an HPU Extraordinary Leader this spring.

“It is always a celebratory time to see how our students embrace academic excellence and excel in the classroom but also contribute to their personal growth with service, leadership and citizenship,” says Gail Tuttle, senior vice president for Student Life. “All students honored tonight have achieved great significance in their academic pursuits and campus engagement. Each recipient has left a legacy of scholarship, excellence and leadership.”

The Order of the Lighted Lamp Inductions:

The order of the Lighted Lamp is the oldest honor society on HPU’s campus. Since 1935, the Order has chosen to induct a select number of students based on scholarship, leadership, character and overall service to the university.  


Rachel Callawayss

Michael Esposito

Matthew Iczkowski

Grace Manser

Jennifer Marshall

Haley McKeown

Hailey Parry

Aria Real

Ashley Russell

Matthew Sayger

Matthew Warrick



Emma Barksdale

James Mestdagh

Rebecca Ulrich

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