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An East Central University student who says her parents taught her that hard work, determination, a positive attitude and a kind heart would take her anywhere worth going has been named the 2010 recipient of the prestigious George Nigh Award as ECU’s top graduating senior.

Lauren Hensley of Mounds will receive the $750 award named for the former Oklahoma governor at a luncheon Wednesday in the Stanley Wagner Ballroom in ECU’s Memorial Student Union.

Hensley and finalists Jordan Antonisse of Richardson, Texas, Naomi Hughes of Noble, Dianna Kriegh of Stratford and Candise Story of Oklahoma City will be honored by ECU officials and community leaders for their outstanding academic achievements.

The luncheon is open to the public, and officers and members of area civic groups are encouraged to attend. Lunch will be served from 11:45 a.m. until 12:20 p.m. and the program should be completed by 1 p.m.

The cost is $5. Reservations can be made by calling the ECU President’s Office at 580-559-5213 today.

The Nigh Award is based on academic achievement, character and potential contribution to public service.

The award is funded by an endowment established through the ECU Foundation Inc. by Julian Rothbaum. Rothbaum was a Tulsa oil man, banker and one-time state regent for higher education.

Hensley was voted ECU’s Homecoming queen last fall, has a perfect 4.0 grade point average at ECU and is a member of Alpha Chi national honor society, Pi Sigma Alpha national political science honor society and Order of Omega honor society for members of Greek organizations. She is a member of Chi Omega and was named an Outstanding Greek Scholar.

Hensley has been a freshman representative and secretary of the Student Senate and is completing her second year as president. She is a two-year member of the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Student Government Association.

She was named a Top Ten Freshman, received the Rising Sophomore Leader Award and won the Political Science Department’s Senate Campaign Simulation in 2007. She is a member of the Oklahoma Council of Student Body Presidents, College Republicans and the ECU President’s Cabinet. She has participated in volunteer work ranging from community service projects to political campaigns. She is majoring in history with a minor in political science.

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