Image of the University flag waving with text overlaid reading Arizona Commencement Student Awards

ROBIE GOLD MEDAL

 

 

Crystal Raygoza

Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, and a Sunnyside High School graduate, Crystal Alyssia Raygoza is graduating with a Bachelor of Science in family studies and human development, with a minor in Spanish.

Crystal’s intersectional identities as a first-generation Latina student of financial need sparked her devotion to work with underserved communities. Throughout her undergraduate studies, Crystal dedicated her time to providing support and resources for students pursuing higher education.

 

 

 

Tony Viola IV

Tony Viola IV, originally from Coolidge, Arizona, is a member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. In 2016, Tony graduated from Marana High School, where he was involved in a federally funded Upward Bound TRIO program that supports aspiring first-generation college students. Through the support of the Upward Bound staff, Tony was able to pursue higher education right after graduation and enrolled in the University of Arizona as a proud first-generation college student, eager to start a new tradition for his family and community.

 

 

 

These medals and a cash award were given by the late Wendell T. Robie of the Class of 1917 and Inez Benzie Robie of the Class of 1916. Robie was president of the Heart Federal Savings and Loan Association in Auburn, California. Qualifications for this award include personal integrity, initiative, cooperativeness, enthusiasm, humility, well-rounded interests active participation in student affairs, service to the University, willingness to give more than required, and love of God and country.

 

 

 


 

ROBERT LOGAN NUGENT AWARD

 

 

Lily Chavez

Lily Keane Chavez is graduating magna cum laude from the Honors College with a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Global Studies. As an Arizona Assurance scholar from Phoenix, Lily has committed her undergraduate career to promoting international education and global awareness through exemplifying the essence of service to the University, the Tucson community, and underrepresented populations abroad.

 

 

 

Meucci Ilunga

Meucci Watchman Ilunga, a member of the Deer Spring and Red Running Into the Water clans, is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry. Meucci is from the Kinłichíí (Kinlichee) community, a small village in northern Arizona and one of the Navajo Nation’s 110 chapters. Drawing from the experiences of his mother, a former sheepherder, and his father, an immigrant from central Africa, Meucci has longed hope to live up to the example of service that both his parents set for him.

 

 

 

These awards were established by the Alumni Association in 1964 and are named in memory of Robert Logan Nugent, who was the executive vice president of the University of Arizona when he died in June of 1963. Nugent served Tucson and the University for more than 30 years and was particularly devoted to guiding and helping Arizona's young men and women. He earned his Master of Science in 1925 at the University of Arizona, was a professor of chemistry, dean of the Graduate and Liberal Arts college, and vice president before being named to the second-highest post at the University.

Candidates should have a record of accomplishment that exemplify Nugent's high ideals, such as active and enthusiastic participation and service in community and University endeavors.

 

 

 


 

MERRILL P. FREEMAN MEDAL

 

 

Ahmad Shahin

Ahmad B. Shahin, a first-generation Palestinian American, is graduating summa cum laude from the Honors College with a Bachelor of Science in physiology and a minor in Arabic. As a Baird Scholar from Tucson, Ahmad has demonstrated his commitment to the underserved, the University and the greater Tucson community throughout his undergraduate experience.

 

 

 

Marcos Gomez Ambriz

Marcos Gomez Ambriz, known as "Gomez," is a first-generation Mexican American student from Phoenix, Arizona. The first in his family to graduate from high school, Gomez never expected a college education. Today, Gomez is a double major Honors College student and Arizona Assurance Scholar, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in physiology and Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry.

 

 

 

In his will, Merrill Freeman, who died in 1919, provided for two medals to be awarded annually to students selected by the administration of the University of Arizona. Born in 1844 in Ohio, Freeman moved west, was a Wells Fargo agent, and worked in mining and banking. He served the University of Arizona as a regent and as a chancellor and received an honorary doctorate in law from the University.

Qualifications moral force of character. Additional factors, which may be considered, are popularity, receipt of athletic awards, membership in organizations, and service on committees and as officers.

 

 

 


 

PROVOST AWARD

 

 

Lauren Easter

Lauren is graduating summa cum laude with her Bachelor of Arts in law and philosophy and is in the Accelerated Master’s Program for Legal Studies, with a concentration in human rights. She works fulltime as a paralegal and advocates for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Lauren has spoken at various forums, where she shares her story of strength and perseverance. She currently volunteers with Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, assisting women impacted by domestic violence.

 

 

 

The Provost Award was established in 2014 to honor an outstanding graduating student who transferred to the University of Arizona from an Arizona community college. Criteria for the award includes perseverance and commitment to academic studies, contributions to the University community, and above-average scholastic ability, citizenship, and leadership.

 

 

 

 

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