Four graduates were named Outstanding Seniors at the May 19 Commencement ceremony at the George F. Collins, Jr. Sports and Convention Center. Allyson Hertig, Lawrence, Kansas; Madison Lutz, Lee’s Summit, Missouri; Jenna Black Johnson, Kansas; and Folauhola “Lela” Hautau, Baldwin City, Kansas, received the award.

“The Outstanding Senior Awards recognize those senior students who exhibit superior achievement,” said Dr. Cassy Bailey, dean of students. “Nominations are reviewed and decided upon by faculty, staff, coaches, and students. [Allyson, Madison, Jenna, and Lela] exhibited excellence in academics, demonstrated leadership, and authentically displayed Baker’s mission and values.”


Hertig, a biology major, who graduated summa cum laude, played on the women’s soccer team all four years at Baker. She worked as a chemistry lab technician, served as a University Admissions Assistant, and participated in the parMentor program.

“I’m very proud of what I have been able to add to the campus,” Hertig said. “I feel like I have embraced Baker’s values and have dug into what opportunities I have been provided.”


Lutz, an elementary education major, who graduated summa cum laude, served as the director of parent and family programs for summer orientation sessions; the president of Baker Serves, a community service group; and the vice president of administration for the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She was also a member of the dance team.

“I hope the biggest impact left on the Baker community was a positive attitude and engaged presence,” Lutz said. “Things didn’t always go as planned, but I tried to always live through my belief that everything happens for a reason and you can learn from every experience.”


Black, a mass media major, who graduated magna cum laude, was the captain of Baker’s cross country and track teams. She served as editor in chief of the Baker Orange,and president of the Delta Delta Delta sorority.

“The legacy I have left at Baker University is one that promotes inclusivity, positivity, and pride,” Black said. “My positive outlook on situations is something I aim to maintain every day.”


Hautau, an English major, who graduated cum laude, participated in Mungano, Baker’s student-run diversity organization, and was a member of several choirs. She also served as the president of the National Residence Hall Honorary, assistant hall director at Irwin, president of Speech Choir, and a School of Education Ambassador.

“I live out Baker’s mission in my dedication to reflection and feedback,” Hautau said. Reflection is now integrated into everything I do, and it’s an important part of my leadership style.”

Congratulations to these outstanding seniors and all of our 2019 graduates.

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