Photo Credit Jan Garrison
Named valedictorian, salutatorian
June 14, 2018

Benjamin Burns (New Carlisle, Indiana) was named the valedictorian and Sarina McCabe (South Bend, Indiana) the salutatorian for the Culver Academies Class of 2018.

Burns (above) and McCabe each received the Jonas Weil Award, a monetary award established by the 1954 alumnus, which honors the top two academic students of each graduating class. The awards were presented by Academic Dean Kevin MacNeil.

A Batten Scholar while at Culver, Burns will be attending Purdue University on The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, which is administered by the St. Joseph County Community Foundation. The four-year, full-tuition scholarships are presented to Indiana students who will be attending any accredited public or private college or university in Indiana.

Burns was also a National Merit Scholarship winner and he received the Scholarship Medal for maintaining the highest cumulative grade point average (4.00) in Culver Military during his first and second class years at Culver, as well as the Excellence in Chinese Award, Science Medal.

McCabe will be attending Emory University on an academic full scholarship. She received the Mary Frances England Humanitarian Award and the C.S. Young Award. She was a co-winner of the Alfred J. Donnelly Scholastic Award for maintaining highest grade point average (3.99) in Culver Girls Academy over the past two years. She shared the honor with Shuning Chen (Zhengzhou, China).

Several other Culver students have been recognized recently for their academic achievements.

The McDonald Award, established by E.C. McDonald (1915) and given to the graduating cadet who by his individual work, example, and inspiration has contributed most to the betterment of cultural life at Culver, was presented to Charles Mahoney (Cuming, Georgia).

The Hughes Award, given in honor of Arthur G. Hughes, the first chairman of the Fine Arts Department, to the graduating CGA senior who has revealed exceptional concern for cultural life on campus was presented to Charlotte Root (Indianapolis).

Adam Davis (Granger, Indiana) received the VanZandt Key, named in honor of Richard K. VanZandt ’28 and recognizes the cadet who has increased awareness among the Corps of the importance of moral and spiritual values.

The YMCA Cup, presented to the cadet who best exemplifies the ideals of Culver, as chosen by the faculty, was given to Will LeVan (Newton, Kansas).

And, Molly Kubaszyk (LaPorte, Indiana) received the Superintendent’s Bowl, which is presented to a CGA graduate whose leadership example, influence, and total record of achievement has brought honor to Culver and herself.

Burns, McCabe, Root, LeVan and 19 other graduates were inducted into the Culver Academies chapter of The Cum Laude Society, a national honorary academic society founded in 1906. The Culver chapter was chartered in 1925. Others inducted include Theodore Batson, Michael Bocker, Kyle Dane, Jiayi Fan, Helen Johnston, Sean Kim, Tanner Koch, Georgiy Kozak, Wiliam Kuhl, Chaeyeong Lee, Yuchen Li, Ved Mehta, Della McDougal, Uchechukwu Nnate, Brock Paul, Rory Sever, Hang Shi, Himanshu Umare, and Kazybek Yermegiyayev.

Also recognized were 14 seniors and first classmen who received a service academy appointment. Attending the United States Military Academy at West Point are Ethan Barangan, Carson Bellman (via the USMA prep school), Brennan Coulson, Rachael Dodson, Thomas Polhamus, and Molly Statczar.

Going to the United States Naval Academy are Adam Davis and Ryker Knight. Kyle Dane, Tanner Koch, Colin Mone, and Timothy Perea will be attending the U.S. Air Force Academy. Hali Hanley will attend the U.S. Coast Guard Academy via the prep school; and Benjamin Mathews will be attending the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

The Brian M Barefoot Social Entrepreneurship Awards were presented to Harrison Steck (The Durfee Playground Project) and Mahoney (Culver Food Sustainability Program). The awards are presented to Senior Practicum projects that are creative, unique, visionary, and promise long term benefit to a disadvantage community.

Other academic honors and recipients include:

  • Doris and Everett Bernardo Memorial Prize – Miriam Servin Mosqueda
  • Shelley Speet Mills Dance Award – Teagan Smith
  • Charles and Anne Duff Purchase Award – Della McDougal
  • Leonard Bernstein Musicianship Award – Noah Tan
  • The Brown University Awards – Alexandra Kwiecien and Joe Ward
  • A.E.K. Cull Award – Charles Mahoney
  • American Mathematics Competitions (Grade 10 or below) – Xuanming Zhang
  • American Mathematics Competitions (Grade 12) – Huan Le
  • Rensselaer Mathematics and Science Award – Zhangyuan Qin
  • Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics Oustanding Achievement – Duo Zheng
  • Burton L. Curry Award – Jiayi Fan
  • John Fraser Roos Award – Charlotte Root
  • Martin A. Uebel Award – Jacqueline Oeschger
  • John R. Mars Award – Della McDougal
  • Raymond K. Walmoth Award – Abigail Beck
  • Walter W. Strait Memorial Award – Yang (Marshall) Song
  • Fred C. Koch Award – Emma Kiewitt and Caleb Isom
  • Wellness Education Award – Caleb Isom
  • Roll Call Award of Excellence – Abby Ericson
  • Vedette Pen – Molly McGrane
  • Franklin D. Schurz Jr. Journalism Award – Reilly Reinhold
  • Bertha L. Jones Award – Hannah Luo
  • CGA Council Award – Molly Kubaszyk
  • Spirit of Culver Award – Taylor Brandeburg
  • Cadet Club Award – Brennan Coulson
  • MacArthur Award – Tanner Koch
  • William I. Koch ’58 Award – Henry Zehner
  • Chittum Crop – Yang (Marshall) Song
  • Outstanding Horsewoman – Samantha Leach
  • Fleet Cup – Brennan Coulson
  • Sara Brown Pascale ’83 Most Valuable Equestrienne – Cecilia Dauer
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