Melanie McKuin and Jack Wafler have been awarded the 2020 Founders Awards at Williams Baptist University. McKuin is from Dexter, Mo., and Wafler is from Lexington, Tenn. WBU President Dr. Stan Norman presented the awards during the university’s commencement exercises on Saturday, August 8.
Founders Award winners are selected from each graduating class at Williams. Recipients are chosen by a vote of the faculty and administration as outstanding representatives of the university and its ideals.
McKuin, a summa cum laude graduate with a perfect 4.0 grade point average, received her degree in English. She has been accepted to the University of Mississippi Law School, where she begins her studies this fall. She is the daughter of Barry and Kim McKuin of Dexter.
“Melanie McKuin was disciplined, extremely well organized, intelligent, and an enthusiastic student who enjoyed discussing and was open to having her ideas challenged. She will be a fantastic attorney,” said Dr. Jerry Gibbens, who chaired the WBU English department.
Wafler, who graduated cum laude, received his degree in social studies education. He begins work this fall as an instructor at Chiang Rai International Christian School in Thailand. He is the son of Stan and Pam Wafler of Lexington.
“Jack is passionate about learning, passionate about his faith, and passionate about serving others and making a difference in the world. He has represented the ‘Williams Way’ so well throughout his time here as a student. We are excited about his future and couldn’t be more proud of him,” said Dr. Blake Perkins, chair of the history department.
WBU’s commencement had been scheduled originally for May, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was rescheduled for Saturday with social distancing protocols in place, giving graduates and their families the opportunity to celebrate the milestone.
WBU is a private, Christian university in Walnut Ridge, Ark.