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Faculty selects Drane award recipient

January 7, 2003

According to a report from the Austin Peay Honors and Awards Committee, faculty voting for the recipient of the Drane Award in the Fall 2002 semester was unusually heavy, with a strong consensus for Louise Morales.

The William McClure Drane Award is conferred during winter and spring Commencement ceremonies. By faculty vote, the award recognizes the top member of the graduating class, chosen on the bases of character, scholarship, leadership and service to the University.

The daughter of former Kenwood High School teacher Maureen Boom, now a resident of Smyrna, Morales has a record of strong leadership and volunteer service. Her leadership skills were sharpened during her term as president of the Student Government Association, a time when she led in a complete restructuring of the SGA constitution. As SGA president, she served on the APSU President's Cabinet and was student representative to the Tennessee Board of Regents.

She also was editor in chief of the student newspaper, “The All State.” She was president and vice president of Sigma Delta Pi, chair of the Alpha Sigma Alpha Standards Board, Recruitment and Public Relations Committee and New Membership Committee. She served the University as an official host in her roles as a Governors Ambassador and a Student Orientation leader.

During 2002, she was named Student Leader of the Year and Student Greek Leader of the Year, and she received the Vice President's Excellence in Leadership Award.

Her academic achievements are reflected in her three-year presidency of Alpha Lambda Delta and four-year service as president, vice president and historian of Sigma Delta Pi. She is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa and Order of Omega, both honorary societies, and was named to “Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.”

She served on numerous University committees, including Commencement, Strategic Planning, Peay Pride, the Sept. 11 Commemoration, as well as the search committees for the vice president for academic affairs and for the student-publications manager.

Morales, who was born in Panama and lived there until she was eight years old, was a member of the APSU International Student Organization and twice participated in the Study Aboard Program to Spain.

She gave generously of her time and talents through numerous volunteer efforts such as Story Time at area elementary schools, APSU coordinator for Teaching Tennessee Week, Teddy Bear Drive for the Clarksville Fire Department, Special Olympics, APSU National Alumni Association Phon-A-Thon, March of Dimes and the Afghanistan Relief Fund.

Dr. Sherry Hoppe, president of APSU, said, “Louise Morales has been a selfless student leader. Throughout her years at Austin Peay, she exhibited a genuine desire to help others, fostered by her sense of responsibility and supported by her outstanding abilities. She was a strong advocate for students during her year as SGA president and as a member of my Cabinet.

“Last summer when ‘The All State' was in jeopardy of being phased out due to lack of student participation on the staff, Louise once again stepped forward and accepted the key job—editor in chief. Very simply, Louise's contributions have made Austin Peay a better place.”

Other nominees for the Drane Award were Irina Ikenberry, Marty Jackson, Laurie Otto, LeeAnn Perberton, Debra Lee Reardon and Melinda Jo West.