Jessica Thompson, a senior industrial engineering major from Troy, was named the 2012 Student Laureate Award winner for Southern Illinois University Edwardsville from the Lincoln Academy of Illinois.
"I am most definitely very humbled by this incredible honor and am very thankful for the selection and the opportunity to represent SIUE," Thompson said.
Every year an outstanding senior from each of the 52 participating colleges and universities in the state of Illinois is honored for overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.
The Lincoln Academy began the Student Laureate Award Program in 1975 to honor students representing the values and virtues of America's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. Thompson received the Lincoln Medal, a certificate of merit and a grant at a ceremony held Nov. 3 in the Hall of Representatives in the Old State Capital hosted by Gov. Pat Quinn.
In 2009, Thompson received a Meridian Scholarship. In 2011, she was named Outstanding Junior for the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering program. She is a part of the start-up of Alpha Pi Mu and Tau Beta Pi, two engineering honor societies at SIUE. She has participated in internships at Scott Air Force Base and Monsanto. In addition Thompson looks for opportunities to give back.
"Engineering is one of the most diverse, rewarding fields in the workforce today," she said. "Once you get through a few difficult classes, you will enjoy the benefits of application and research.
"You can do whatever kind of project you want with this education," Thompson said. "Also, the connections you make along the way are priceless."
The Lincoln Academy of Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan and self-perpetuating corporation established in 1964 to recognize the outstanding contributions made by living Illinois citizens.
McKendree University was named a 2012 Greater St. Louis Top 50 Award winner by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association.
Selection is based on an organization's contributions to the 16-county bi-state region, including employment and revenue growth, contributions and enhancements to the community, acquisitions, green or sustainable efforts, expansion and development.
"We are extremely proud to be one of the St. Louis RCGA's Top 50," university President James Dennis said. "McKendree is experiencing unprecedented growth and development, with the largest enrollment and student retention in our 184-year history. We provide a high quality education that prepares our students to become leaders in their field and in the region."
McKendree ranks among the top quarter of regional universities nationwide in the 2013 U.S. News and World Report's "Best Colleges" report. It is also a College of Distinction, named to "America's 100 Best College Buys," and recognized as a "Military Friendly School" by Victory Media for 2013.
The Belleville East Marching Lancers will perform in Chicago Nov. 17 as part of the Magnificent Mile Festival of Night Parade.
The event has taken place for more than 50 years and represents the official kick-off of the holiday season in Chicago.
Lights along Michigan Avenue are turned off at the start of the parade and then switch on, block by block, as the parade passes to create a dramatic effect.
The parade follows a 1.2-mile route along Michigan Avenue from Oak Street to Wacker Drive.
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