Lee Honors LEAP/TRIO SSS Graduates

Academics, Graduation, News

By Merritt Jenkins

Lee University recently held a ceremony celebrating the LEAP (Learn, Engage, Achieve Program)/TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) graduating class of 2021. During the event, Lee President Dr. Mark L. Walker and Provost Dr. Debbie Murray recognized 32 LEAP scholars who graduated this May.

“We are incredibly proud of the achievements of this group of amazing students,” said Murray. “Even more exciting, however, are the plans of these new graduates. Many will continue immediately with graduate study in medicine, law, education, music, and counseling. Others have secured employment in the medical field, teaching, the arts, and public service professions. We expect to keep hearing of more great accomplishments from these new alumni in the future!”

During the ceremony, three graduates were presented with the Learn, Engage, and Achieve awards.

Victoria Pace, a communications advertising major from Dallas, Georgia, received the Learn Award. This award is dedicated to the LEAP individual who is drawn to the process of learning and shows growth in academics as well as all other categories of the LEAP program to include career exploration, personal development, and financial and economic literacy.

Psychology major Hannah Sexton, from Washington, D.C., earned the Engage Award. This award is given to the LEAP individual who fully engages in curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities. Sexton actively participated in LEAP and on the Lee University campus, attending events and coordinating and participating in several clubs and organizations.

Jacob Wagoner, an exercise science major from Concord, North Carolina, received the Achieve Award, given to the LEAP scholar who strives to achieve both personal and academic goals. This award is distinct from the Learn Award in that it focuses more on the student’s achievements than the process of achieving their goals.

Other graduating LEAP Scholars include Calah Brown, Rhianna Barrow, Sydney Bauman, Madeline Benedickt, Kelly Berry, Alyssa Chevere, Zackary Cochran, Hope Cummings, Mary Deerman, Laurel Desmarais, Micah Farr, Sierra Fischer, Jackie Gann, Ashley Garner, Aubrey Gruber, Amy Harrison, Alissa Jackson, Rosalyn Miller, Carolyn Montgomery, Riley Nuss, Ibidun Oduguwa, Maria Pedro Tomas, Corinne Perez, Jennifer Roberson, Inna Stukanova, Eric Ulmer, Valeria Vasquez, Valentina Vasquez, and Courtney Woodie.

This group represents graduates from 18 programs who hail from Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

“We are extremely proud of the LEAP class of 2021 scholars,” said Dr. Roy Y. Chan, director of Lee University LEAP/TRIO SSS. “These outstanding graduates will become leaders in their fields, paving the way for the next generation of doctors, nurses, entrepreneurs, teachers, and researchers. I am confident that the new graduates will be a light in the world and make the world a better place as proud Lee alumni.”

Funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, LEAP is a TRIO SSS program and currently serves 140 first-generation or underrepresented students at Lee each year who meet the eligibility criteria. The program provides individual success coaching, peer mentors, direct student aid, financial aid counseling, financial literacy education, cultural and academic enrichment opportunities, and other personalized services according to individual students’ needs.

For more information about LEAP, visit or email


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