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KU announces ExCEL Award winners, concludes 110th Homecoming

Wed, 10/05/2022

LAWRENCE — Three University of Kansas students were named winners of the 2022 Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership (ExCEL) Awards. Aylar Atadurdyyeva of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Miracle Emenuga of Lagos, Nigeria, and Mikayla Leader, of Wichita, were recognized during the KU-Iowa State football game Oct. 1 in David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, which concluded a week of activities for KU’s 110th Homecoming celebration.

Home on the Hill Homecoming logoAtadurdyyeva, a senior in global & international studies, microbiology, political science and Slavic studies with minors in German studies and psychology, is executive director of The Big Event and the Homecoming Steering Committee. She also directs finance and partnerships for Student Union Activities.

Emenuga, a senior in chemical engineering with a minor in biomedical engineering, is president of the KU chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and was formerly vice president of LEAD UP.

Leader, a senior in mathematics and STEMTeach, is executive director of Student Union Activities and an adviser for The Big Event.

ExCEL Award nominees were selected based on their leadership, communication skills, involvement at KU and in the Lawrence community, academic scholarship and ability to work with a variety of students and organizations. The ExCEL Award was first given in 1991, and this year’s awards were presented by Konica Minolta.

The KU Alumni Association also honored Thanh Tan Nguyen, a junior in business analytics and supply chain management from Phu Yen, Vietnam, with the Jennifer Alderdice Homecoming Award, which recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding loyalty and dedication to the University. Alderdice, of Lawrence, led student programs for the Alumni Association from 1999 to 2009 and earned her master’s degree in education from KU in 1999.

Other 2022 Homecoming award and competition winners:

Rich and Judy Billings Spirit of 1912 Award

Prairie Village residents Andrew and Lauren Wymore are members of the Williams Education Fund and the KU Alumni Association’s Presidents Club. Lauren Wymore is a 2006 graduate of the School of Education & Human Sciences. Andrew Wymore attended KU with the Class of 2004. He is a senior realtor with ReeceNichols and a corporate partner of the Alumni Association.

Student organization overall competition winners

Small group:

  • First place: Zeta Beta Tau and Sigma Kappa
  • Second place: KJHK 90.7 student radio station
  • Third place: Lambda Phi Epsilon

Large group:

  • First place: Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Tau Omega and Alpha Chi Omega
  • Second place: Theta Chi and Kappa Delta
  • Third place: Delta Tau Delta and Pi Beta Phi

Student organization individual event competition winners

Jayhawk Jingles

Small group:

  • First place: Zeta Beta Tau and Sigma Kappa
  • Second place: KJHK 90.7 student radio station

Large group:

  • First place: Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Tau Omega and Alpha Chi Omega
  • Second place: Theta Chi and Kappa Delta
  • Third place: Delta Chi, Alpha Sigma Phi and Delta Gamma

Chalk ’n’ Rock

Small group:

  • First place: Zeta Beta Tau and Sigma Kappa
  • Second place: Lambda Phi Epsilon

Large group:

  • First place: Theta Chi and Kappa Delta
  • Second place: Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Tau Omega and Alpha Chi Omega
  • Third place: Phi Kappa Psi, Sigma Pi and Gamma Phi Beta

Sign competition

Small group:

  • First place: Zeta Beta Tau and Sigma Kappa
  • Second place: KJHK 90.7 student radio station

Large group:

  • First place: Kappa Sigma, Alpha Kappa Lambda and Kappa Alpha Theta
  • Second place: Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Tau Omega and Alpha Chi Omega
  • Third place: Delta Tau Delta and Pi Beta Phi

The theme for KU’s 110th Homecoming was “Home on the Hill,” and throughout the week students and alumni marked the occasion with various activities, including networking events, reunions and tailgates. KU’s Homecoming was sponsored by Best Western Plus-West Lawrence, Central Bank of the Midwest, Konica Minolta, the KU Bookstore and Pepsi Zero Sugar.

For more information about Homecoming, go to kualumni.org/homecoming.

About the KU Alumni Association

Through the support of members and donors, the KU Alumni Association advocates for the University of Kansas, communicates with Jayhawks in all media, recruits students and volunteers, serves the KU community and unites Jayhawks. For more information, visit kualumni.org.



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