News - Commencement 2020 Honorees Recognized Remotely

Commencement 2020 Honorees Recognized Remotely

By Carla Morris

Though Greenville University postponed its 2020 Commencement celebration to Homecoming Weekend, October 18, university officials recognized three special Commencement honorees on schedule. Early in May, Professor Daryl Cox and students CJ Falls and Jessie Chappel received congratulatory calls via Zoom notifying them of their awards. 

Cox received the 2020 W. Richard Stephens Outstanding Faculty Award. Falls received the President’s Character and Service Award, and Chappel received GU’s President’s Citation. Each award included a plaque and a $1,000 check mailed to the awardee’s home. 

Unfaltering Excellence

Students nominate professors for GU’s Outstanding Faculty Award, and past recipients weigh in as well. GU’s Board of Trustees makes the final decision. Students praised Professor of Chemistry Daryl Cox as inspirational, thorough, engaging, and patient. They expressed appreciation for the grace and respect he brought to challenging classroom discussions, and for his unwavering integrity and excellence.    

Cox drew particular praise for the thoughtful care and guidance he provided students as they navigated challenging ideas in a course called “Science and Christianity.”

“A daunting subject for many reasons . . . a sensitive topic, to say the least,” wrote one student. Cox, said the student, offered insights “not to provide answers, but rather to assist us in thinking critically for ourselves.”

Inspires the Best In His Peers

Selfless, generous, noble, integrative and committed to Christ—the criteria for GU’s President’s Award for Character and Service seem tailored to CJ Falls, according to the faculty and staff who nominated him for this year’s honor.

They cited CJ’s ability to bring out the best in his peers, his selfless nature, and his ability to draw others toward Jesus Christ in creative ways, like forming the Ultimate Frisbee Club.

“He brings students of all walks of life together to play and then concludes the match with a bible study,” says Admissions Counselor Johnny Milabu. The event grew, said Milabu, and brought people from across campus closer to each other and closer to Jesus Christ at the same time. 

 CJ, a native of Bloomington, Illinois, majored in business management.

Rigorous Enough For Seniors, Accessible to Freshmen

Professors who nominated Jessie Chappel for GU’s most prestigious academic award, the President’s Citation, said her great work ethic, consistent mastery of material, and exceptional writing skills set her apart from her peers. Jessie achieved an overall 4.0 GPA majoring in biology and chemistry and demonstrated impressive soft skills as well. She worked two years as a teaching assistant.

“She is highly collaborative, working with her classmates on course work,” said Professor of Biology Eric Nord. “I am confident that other students do better in classes with Jessie because she works with them.”

Professor of Chemistry Darryl Cox acknowledged Jessie’s “excellent interpersonal skills” and the great care she gives to communicating: “Her presentations are rigorous enough for the seniors and at the same time accessible to the freshmen.”

Jessie is a native of Edwardsville, Illinois.


2019 Commencement Ceremony Honors Outstanding Faculty, Students
A Reason to Stay on Campus: Ultimate Frisbee
Harvard U. Invites GU Bio-Chem Major Jessie Chappel to Present
Greenville University Undergrad Researcher Jessie Chappel Receives Prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

When you give to the Greenville University Fund, you fuel scholarships that make the GU experience a reality for even more students. Thank you for giving.

This story was published on May 28, 2020

comments powered by Disqus
315 E. College Avenue
Greenville, Illinois 62246-1145
800.345.4440 / 618.664.7100
Contact Us © 2000-20 Greenville University. All rights reserved.
Greenville University is authorized to operate as a postsecondary educational institution by the Illinois Board of Higher Education
Accreditation | IBHE Complaint Form