Culver recognizes top students

Jan Garrison

Valedictorian, salutatorian named


June 10, 2021

The most prestigious of student awards were presented at Commencement Convocation to members of the Class of 2021 on Saturday, June 5. The top six student award winners are nominated and selected by a vote of the faculty staff. The academic/athletic awards are selected by the coaching staffs from among the 2021 members of the Cum Laude Society.

The McDonald Award was presented to Connor Lee (Granger, Indiana). The award, first given to Joshua Logan ’27, Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway playwright and director, is given to the cadet who - by his individual work, example and inspiration - has contributed materially to the betterment of cultural life at Culver. Established in 1927 by Edwin C. McDonald, Class of 1915.

The Arthur G. Hughes Award was presented to Ava Johnson (Culver). The award, honoring Culver’s first chair of Fine Arts, is presented to that graduating senior girl who has revealed the most exceptional concern for cultural life at the Academies. Established in 1974 by the graduates of Culver Girls Academy.

The Van Zandt Key was presented to Michael Kuhl (Elmhurst, Illinois). The key is presented to the Culver Military Academy first classman who, by his effort and example, has increased an awareness among the Corps of Cadets of the importance of moral and spiritual values. Established in 1954 by Richard R. Van Zandt, Class of 1928.

Taylor Lewandowski walking up to receive her award.

The Mary Frances England Humanitarian Award was presented to Taylor Lewandowski (Culver). The award, named for the founding director of CGA, is presented annually to the senior girl who, by her acts, has revealed an exemplary concern for others. Established in 1973 by the Culver Parents Association.

Kuhl also received The Chambers Award, which is given in memory of Cal C. Chambers, Class of 1908. The award recognizes that first-classman who has distinguished himself through a combination of excellence in scholarship and athletics. Established in 1915.

The Jane Metcalfe Culver Bowl was presented to Minseo Kim (Lincolnwood, Illinois). The Award is presented to the graduating CGA senior who has distinguished herself in scholastic and athletic achievements. The award was established in 1988.

The YMCA Cup was presented to Noah Tan (Stevensville, Michigan). The Cup is presented to the CMA cadet who, in the opinion of the faculty and staff, best exemplifies the ideals of Culver. Established in 1915.

The Superintendent’s Bowl was presented to Yichen (Sherry) Xie (Shanghai, China). The Bowl is presented to a graduating senior of CGA for leadership, example, influence, and total record of achievement. The award was established in 1972 by a former cadet.

Xie (top photo, left) was also recognized as the valedictorian of the Class of 2021 and recipient of the Jonas Weil Award. She will continue his education at Stanford University. Established by Jonas Weil ’54, the Weil Award provides a monetary award to the valedictorian and salutatorian.

Evan Lu (San Marino, California) was named the salutatorian and Jonas Weil Award winner. Lu also received The Scholarship Medal, which was established in 1946. The award is presented to the cadet with the highest cumulative grade point average during the second- and first-class years at Culver. Lu (top photo, right) will be attending Brown University, where he will be a member of the fencing team.

The Alfred J. Donnelly Scholastic Award was presented to Zhuoan (Joanna) Xiang (Beijing). The award is given in memory of Alfred J. Donnelly, Culver’s long esteemed teacher, counselor and dean. It recognizes the graduating senior in CGA who has attained the highest academic average during her junior and senior year. The award was established in 1979.

Dorm/Unit Awards

Ithaka Dorm was The Benson Bowl for Academic Achievement with an overall grade point average of 3.799. The award, established by a former Culver cadet, is dedicated to the memory of Dean Ernest B. Benson and is awarded to the CGA dormitory having the highest academic achievement for the year.

Company C won The Silver Bowl with an overall GPA of 3.699. Given by E.R. Culver III, Class of 1918, to the CMA organization having the highest academic achievement for the year.

Honors and Concentrations

Ninety-one students received diplomas indicating they successfully completed the requirements for Concentrations or Honors in a discipline.

Students graduating with a Concentration in a subject will completed a series of prerequisite courses, including special seminars focusing intensively on their areas of interest.

Those students graduating with Honors will have produced a body of work judged to be of high merit by the corresponding subject-area faculty committee.

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