Students smile, holding awards, with Rob Young and President Nicole Hurd

From left: Robert Young ’14, director of Intercultural Development joins student award recipients Imane Halal ’23, Monique Brown 23, Damoi Morgan ’25, Jose Bencosme Peña ’24, Ednetta Fullmore ’23, Jessica Booth ’23, Chisom Njoku ’23, and Lafayette President Nicole Hurd

Rainy weather did not match the joy and celebration emanating from Lafayette’s campus on Saturday, April 15 as faculty, staff, and alumni gathered to support student award recipients at the annual McDonogh Network Spring Celebration. The event kicked off in Rockwell Integrated Sciences Center with a welcome reception. President Nicole Hurd spoke about the importance of community, celebrating and honoring students, and the McDonogh Network.

“I’ve spent a lot of time talking to students,” said Hurd during her remarks. “You are the love and light that makes this place possible. And you are the reason why we are all here—it’s for our students—so thank you for the love and light that you do radiate.”

Robert Young ’14, director of intercultural development, presented the student awards as the crowd cheered. The following students were honored for their academic achievement and dedication to promoting diversity at the College:

Jessica Booth ’23, women’s basketball, and Seif Ingram ’23, Baseball–Scholar Athlete Award 

Imani “Image” Patterson ’25–Darlyne Bailey ’74 Excellence in the Humanities and Social Sciences Award 

Ferrah Reid ’23–Dr. Eugene DeLoatch ’59 Excellence in Science and Engineering Award 

Alysa Cefalo ’26–Dr. Eugene DeLoatch ’59 First-Year Academic Achievement Award 

Damoi Morgan ’25 and Ednetta Fullmore ’23Riley Temple ’71 Creative and Artistic Citizenship Award 

Imane Halal ’23–Leroy Nunery ’77 Intellectual Citizenship Award

Monique Brown ’23–Jeffrey Robinson ’80 Leadership Award

Chisom Njoku ’23 and Jose Bencosme Peña ’24–David A. Portlock Cross-Cultural Relations Award

Young announced two new awards, which will be presented next year: Harrison Bailey ’95 Award and Terese Brown ’07 Award. The new awards were made possible by the generosity of Harrison Bailey ’95 and Terese Brown ’07, who both devote their time and talents to support students of color at Lafayette. 

“What I love most about the student awards and again, from my personal experience of being a student, is that it shows that the work that we do is transformative,” said Young. “What is so exciting and motivating for me is the fact that one day your name could be on an award. Your legacy never dies. We can pass the baton on to the next person.” 

Posse Scholar and recipient of the David and Washington McDonogh Scholarship Heavenly Anderson ’24 beautifully summarized the McDonogh Network and her experience as a student of color.

“Growing up, I couldn’t see how college would be an option for me. But because of all the scholarships and other types of support I received from all types of organizations, it wasn’t just college that was possible, it was everything else. This past year I was hiking to new realities and facing my fears. Next year I’ll be studying social and environmental change in Samoa. What happens next doesn’t really matter. The point is when you feel like your contributions feel like raindrops in the ocean, just remember all the beautiful species that the ocean supports. Then those raindrops feel like extra blessings and who doesn’t love extra blessings?

The ceremony was followed by a dinner and networking event at Portlock Black Cultural Center. 

View additional photos from the event on Flikr.


Categorized in: Diversity, Featured News, Intercultural Development, McDonogh Voice, News and Features, Students