This week, Augustana recognized students in the 11th annual Covenant Awards during Verdier.
Verdier, a Norwegian word meaning “values,” consists of a week of activities celebrating the core values of the college.
Started in 2001, the Covenant Awards are given to students who embody the college’s five core values of Christian, Liberal Arts, Excellence, Community and Service.
“It’s really all about celebrating students,” Jim Bies, dean of students, said.
The criteria for the Covenant Awards were established based on the definitions of the five core values set forth by the Augustana Student Association during the 2000-2001 school year. The awards were created to define what it means to be a member of the Augustana Community and to celebrate the entire student body.
“The act of being nominated is really what the award is about,” Bies said.
Generally, only one student is given the Covenant Award in a given category, but so far this year, two categories have had multiple winners. The Liberal Arts award was given to both senior Katie Hjerpe and junior Tony Yang, and both seniors Coral Hanson and Erika Zetterlund received the award for Excellence.
“Winning the Liberal Arts award was probably one of the hardest things to receive at Augustana College,” Yang said. “All of the nominees are incredible people who well deserved the award, and there are many people not nominated who deserved the award as well.”
Each Covenant Award recipient is chosen by a committee made up of Augustana faculty, administration and staff. Different committees are assembled for each of the core values. Any member of the Augustana community can send in nomination suggestions for any of the five Covenant Awards, which are then reviewed by their respective committees.
Once the committees have selected nominees, they choose the people who “best epitomize what it means to embody each of the five values,” according to Bies.