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Award goes to the senior ‘who most nearly represents the Lafayette ideal’

Nate Parker ’08 (Milford, N.H.) is the recipient of the 2008 George Wharton Pepper Prize, awarded annually to the senior “who most nearly represents the Lafayette ideal.”

The prize was established in 1923 by George Wharton Pepper, a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, attorney, and founding member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association. In his gift, Pepper noted that the “ideal” Lafayette student combines a “sound academic record” with “noteworthy participation in College activities and student life.”

“If I had to define ‘ideal,’” Parker says. “It would be making the most of opportunities and utilizing them to bring about positive change.”

Parker, a biology major, was one of 10 finalists for the Pepper Prize. He was chosen through a vote of the student body and faculty, and will speak at Lafayette’s 173rd Commencement Saturday, May 24.

A Trustee Scholar, Parker was selected as a finalist in the 2008 Marshall Scholarship competition and the 2007 Harry S. Truman Scholarship competition. Last summer, he won an Undergraduate Research Fellowship from the American Society for Microbiology. The fellowship provided Parker with a stipend for 10 weeks of research on columnaris disease in freshwater fish with Laurie F. Caslake, associate professor of biology, and a two-year membership in the ASM. He spent the spring 2007 semester studying public health and malaria prevention in Kenya.

Parker was program director of the Best Buddies program through the Landis Community Outreach Center. Last year, he was named Outstanding College Buddy Director of the Year in the Philadelphia region. He has served as program director of Habitat for Humanity and Hunger and Homelessness Week, associate director of the Pre-Orientation Community Service Program, and co-director of Lafapalooza.

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