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Aiken honored for outstanding achievement


Dr. Jim Taylor, president of University of the Cumberlands, presents the 2009 George S. Munro Memorial Prize in Pre-Medical Studies to Meagan Aiken during Commencement.

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky.— Meagan Aiken, the daughter of Ricky and Rebecca Aiken of Jacksboro, Tenn., received several honors during Honors Day and Commencement at University of the Cumberlands.

During the 50th annual Honors Day Convocation, Aiken was recognized as a Student of High Honor, and she was inducted into the J.T. Vallandingham Scholastic Honor Society.

The J. T. Vallandingham Scholastic Honor Society requires each member to have completed at least 96 semester hours as a full-time student and have a GPA of 3.5 or better each semester. Students must also have a cumulative standing of 3.7 or better. The society is named for John Thompson Vallandingham, who served Cumberlands for more than sixty years in a variety of positions, including dean of men and associate professor of mathematics.

At Commencement on May 9, Aiken received a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. She graduated with a 3.968 GPA and the distinction of summa cum laude. She also received the George S. Munro Memorial Prize in Pre-Medical Studies.

This award is given in honor of George S. Munro, a pastor and long-time board member at University of the Cumberlands, by his son, Dr. Roger Munro, and his daughter-in-law, Nancy K. Munro. Dr. and Mrs. Munro give this award to the graduating senior pre-medical student who has achieved the highest grade point average through his or her college career in recognition of academic excellence and effort.

At Cumberlands, Aiken not only excelled in the classroom but she also served as an example to others. While maintaining her high GPA she participated in the Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society and Beta Beta Beta Biology Honor Society, and she played on the softball team. She has served the Academic Resource Center as a tutor, and she has been a Hospice volunteer and a volunteer softball coach.

In the fall, Aiken will enter the Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University to pursue her career as a physician. Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in 37 major fields of study; 30 minors; nine pre-professional programs; graduate degrees, including a doctorate and certifications in education; an MBA; and online programs.