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Melanie Bacaling, Brock Reneer Named UE’s Outstanding Seniors

Posted: Saturday, May 4, 2013

Melanie Bacaling, a vocal performance and psychology major from Gurnee, Illinois, and Brock Reneer, an economics and finance major from Princeton, Indiana, were named the University of Evansville’s Outstanding Seniors during today’s 155th Commencement at the Ford Center.

The Mabel Dillingham Nenneker and Guthrie May Outstanding Senior Service Awards are the highest honors the University presents to one female and one male senior. A University committee chose the two recipients based on academic performance, a commitment to service, outstanding leadership, and diverse involvement in campus activities.

Bacaling received the Mabel Dillingham Nenneker Outstanding Senior Service Award. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music in performance and a Bachelor of Science in psychology. When announcing the award, UE President Thomas A. Kazee called Bacaling “an outstanding leader who brings out the best in those around her.”

During her time at UE, Bacaling served as president of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority, president of Student Alumni Ambassadors, and director of music ministry for the Newman Club. Bacaling has also served on numerous University committees, performed with student music ensembles (including a performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall with the University Choir), and studied abroad in Salzburg, Austria. Last week, she was named the winner of the 36th annual Gumberts Award Recital, which recognizes the top music majors in the senior class.

This fall, Bacaling will begin graduate studies at The Boston Conservatory, where she plans to pursue a Master of Music degree in vocal pedagogy.

Reneer received the Guthrie May Outstanding Senior Service Award. He graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree.

At UE, Reneer was involved with organizations such as Orientation Leaders, Freshman Council, Admission Ambassadors, and Business Scholar Days. He also participated in UE’s cheerleading team and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, serving terms as president and vice president. Reneer has studied abroad at UE’s Harlaxton College and in Hong Kong and Singapore, and in April, he was elected by his peers to serve on the University’s Board of Trustees.

“Brock has learned early in life that true leadership doesn’t come from money or power, but from selflessness and humility,” said President Kazee while announcing the award at today’s Commencement. “Those qualities were evident in Brock throughout his four years at UE, and we’ll always be thankful for the impact he made on campus as a servant leader.”

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